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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    March 23, 2011
    9:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

bank levy, we will fund a 250 million pounds commitment the first time buyers. and you shared equity scheme first time will be available for first time buyers who want to purchase a newly built property or who cannot afford. this will help 10,000 families get onto the housing ladder for the first time. [shouting] >> the previous government, mr. deputy speaker, intended to end the temporary changes to the support for mortgage interest next january. instead, we will extend it for another year. and that will reduce mortgage arrears for around 100,000 out of work homeowners. mr. deputy speaker, manufacturing is crucial to the rebalancing of our economy. over the last decade the share of the economy accounted for by financial services decreased by over two-thirds while manufacturing share fell by almost a half. under this government manufacturing is now growing at a record rate at 14,000 more
jobs have been created in this sector in the last three months. to help us continue the government announced its plan today to make out export promotion more entrepreneurial to great new export credits to help smaller businesses, launch britain's first technology and innovation to hide manufacturing, and fund a further nine new university centers in manufacturing. science is one area where britain already has an advantage over many other countries and it is essential to our future as a place to create business. that's one reason what i protected the science budget from cuts last year. i can tell the house that i have been able to find again from this years extra bank levy an additional 100 million pounds to invest in new scientist facilities, in cambridge, the knowledge research environmental and life sciences, the international space innovation center, and the national science and innovation campus.
but if britain is willing to become a home of innovation, then we want research and development to take place not just in our great universities but in a small list -- our smaller businesses also. i've listened to him and gone even further then he recommends. from april this year, mr. deputy speaker, the small companies research and develop it tax credit will rise to 200%, and from extra it will rise again to 225%. we also want to encourage manufacturers to invest in a lease machinery and technology. so i propose to double the limit on the capital allowances for short life assets from four years, to eight years. and it allows for the renovation of business premises and assisted areas which was due to expire next year we will extend for a further five years. supported the private sector across the whole of the united
kingdom is central to our economic ambitions. savings in the transport department mean that we can also afford 200 million pounds of additional investment in our regional whale ways. will go ahead with the 85 million pounds also linking manchester and piccadilly stations, significantly reducing journey times between liverpool and leeds. we can commit to and i know as we have just been hearing many honorable members have been calling for this, redoubling the scale. and this will help our great western main line to wales. and we can find another 100 million pounds to help councils repair the potholes on our roads. mr. deputy speaker, helping all parts of our country succeed is also the purpose behind the new enterprise zone to be launched
today. mr. deputy speaker, there have been reports that we be able to fund 10 new enterprise zones. i confirmed instead we will fund 21 new enterprises. [shouting] >> businesses will get up to a 100% discount on rates, new -- the potential to use capital allowances in zones where there is a strong focus on manufacturing. in return for radically reduce planning restrictions, we will that local authorities keep all business rate growth in their zone for a period of at least 25 years to spend on development priorities. the first 10 enterprise zones will be in urban areas of highest need, but also the highest potential. they'll be in birmingham, in leeds, liverpool, manchester, the bristol area, the black country, and sheffield. tomorrow my right honorable friend prime minister and deputy prime minister will announce
some of these specific locations of these new enterprise zones. and i confirmed that a further zone will be located in london where i've asked for a suitable site. a further 10 enterprise zones will be announced in the summer and i want local enterprise partnerships all over the country to come forward with proposals. responsibilities are to go in northern ireland, southern to wales. so we will work with the administration so that they can enjoy the benefits of this policy. in northern ireland to martha treasury will publish a paper on how we help their private sector to grow, to do with the unique issues posed by the irish republic business tax regime. to consider the case for northern ireland having an even lower rate of corporation tax than the rest of the united kingdom. i look forward to engaging with all parties there on the way forward. there is one of the particular issue that affects a specific part of our country, and that is
the very high water bills for customers in the southwest because of the geography there, particularly for those on lower incomes. so we will come forward with public money to help bring those bills down. [shouting] >> mr. deputy speaker, let me turn now to the opportunity presented by the green energy revolution, and as our determination to be the greenest government ever. we've already announced our ambitious renewable incentives and support for low emission cars. and changes to the a company car tax regime today increases that support. our greenfield to reduce the energy bills for homes will be introduced next year and i confirmed that we will act to incentivize and encourage its take a. we are pioneering new carbon capture and storage technology with 1 billion pounds already provided and future projects will be funded out of general spending rather than a complex new levy. but we need to take two-thirds of both if we're going to make the green energy revolution a
reality. first as i have argued, investment in green energy will never be certain and less we bring some stability to the price of carbon. today we become first country in the world to introduce a carbon price in the power sector. the price will start at around 16 pounds per ton in 2013, and move to a cart -- target price of 30 pounds in 2020. this will provide the incentive of those accounts of new investment in our dilapidated energy infrastructure. to ensure customers get a fair deal, we will closely follow developments in the energy sector in the light of the off year published on monday. at the same time i am extending the climate change agreements to 2023 and increasing the climate change levy discount on electricity for those who sign up from 65%, 80% from apri april 2013. this will help our most energy intensive industry. green taxes will increase as a proportion of total tax revenues
as we promised, and the second bold step we take today is the creation of the green investment bank to support low carbon investment with the returns of two long-term are too risky for the market. we've already committed a billion pounds to a. today i commit to billion pounds more, funded from sales and underwritten by the treasury. this will enable the green investment bank to start operation one year earlier than planned in 2012. [shouting] >> it will leverage an additional 18 billion pounds to private sector invested in green projects over this parliament, i can also confirm today that from 2015-16 subject to our overall debt targeting that will allow the green investment banks to borrow and invest. so a green investment bank is resources, a new carbon price more, new capital allowances for manufacturing, new support for home builders and first time
buyers, and economy where growth happens across the country and across all sectors. that is our ambition. [shouting] >> and mr. deputy speaker, it leads me to this fourth ambition. to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in your. britain's working age population has the lowest skills than the populations of america, germany and france. and that's probably the biggest problem facing our economy in the future. that's why we are undertaking far-reaching reform of our schools and universities, and funding of people premium. an additional earlier support for a most disadvantaged children in poverty. that's why we commissioned the most impressive reform. the government is committed to funding new university technical colleges which will provide vocational training but it is the best incorporate the curriculum is being developed in close coordination with both locally universities and leading
employers. and i commend ken baker for getting these new colleges up and running in our manufacturing centers. today the government has announced that it will fund 12 new university technical colleges. i can tell the house we will provide funding to double that number to at least 24. we will also deal directly with the challenge of youth unemployment that has been on a steady rise for the last seven years and give people direct contact with the workplace. instead of 20,000 young people benefiting from our new work experience scheme as we plan, we'll increase that number five fold, to 100,000 places over the next few years. in austria, germany and switzerland, around one in four employers offer apprenticeships. in england, fewer than one in 10 do. that's got to change. [laughter] >> that's got to change after 10 years of a labour government. [shouting] >> last year, my right honorable
friend published a steel strategy and confirm the largest ever expansion in adult apprenticeship or today i'm funding another 40,000 a partnerships for young unemployed people. there are currently only 1500 high level apprenticeship across the whole of england. this budget provides for 10,000 more. that brings a total of 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years as a result of this government policy. [shouting] >> a government backing once were, watch real trained to secure jobs and more growth. mr. deputy speaker, we shouldn't talk about those without talking about those who are coming to the end of their working lives, and looking through retarded. i am very proud that this coalition government that took the decision to relate the basic state pension to earnings and guarantee its increased to a
triple lock. this would simply not have been afforded as they argue without an increase in the state pension age. the state pension age is set to rise to 66 by 2020 or i can tell the house that we will now seek hopefully with more parties support a new more automatic mechanism for future increases in the state pension age based on regular independent reviews on longevity. this is another major reform that would help britain live within her means. we also need to make sure that our public service pensions are both fair to those who give their working lives to help others, and fair to the taxpayers who have the burden. to say we publish the results of our consultation on the discount rate which shows that a more appropriate rate would be inflation plus gdp growth, this reinforces our case to increasing the employee contributions by an average of 3% to indeed the new discount rate could be used to justify further cogitation rises. as part of the reforms i am not
prepared to ask more than the average. john has been completed his final report which looks at the pension benefit. i'm sure members in all parts of the cells were want to thank thu for a very impressive report. [shouting] >> or at least part of the house. i can from today that government expects recommendations as a basis of consultation with public sector work with unions and others. they should be no cherry picking on either side. i believe this how should also recommend similar changes to the pensions of mps. we should also address the state pension system which has become unbelievably complex. if people can't work out, what they're going to get in retirement or how much with the means test, then they can't work out what they need to say.
so the pensions minister, the pensions secretary and i have worked together to develop options including a new single tiered pension. it will be simple, it would be based on contributions, it would be a flat rate that people know what to expect. it will cost no more than the current system. we currently estimate this new single tier pension will be worth around 140-pound per week. it will not apply to current pensioners and it will pay years to come into effect. as with the other major reforms i've announced today, simplify our tax system to improve our economic performance, to reform our public sector pension, this government is doing the right thing for the long-term. [shouting] >> the most competitive corporate taxes, the best place to start up and run a business, and investing, exporting, green and manufacturing more balanced economy, a better educated workforce, a more fair pension system, these are our ambitions with the measures to match. mr. deputy speaker, let me turn now to personal taxes and
duties. let me start by noting that a society should not be judged by the strength of its economy alone, but also by the compassion of its people. the culture secretary and i -- [shouting] >> that's what i happen to think at least in what. the culture secretary and i have been working on a series of substantial reforms that will support, from the largest to the coins collected in the charity bucket. so first we will dramatically simplify the administration of gift aid instead of asking charities to submit a written record everything they can we will by 2013 pay for a much easier system. second, we will encourage wealthy people in our society to give even more. they gift aid benefit will be increased from 500 pounds to two and a half thousand pounds of cherries and museums can say thank you properly. we will consult in the coming year on how to encourage the
preeminent work advance to our nation in return for a tax deduction. we will introduce from april next year this major change to our inheritance tax system. if you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, then again it will take 10% off your inheritance tax rates. [shouting] >> let me be clear. no beneficiaries will be better off as a result of this policy, just the charities. to the tune of 300 million pounds, i want to make giving 10% of a legacy to charity the new norm in our country. the third reform we make to the charitable taxes is not about the biggest donations but the smallest. [laughter] >> we will introduce, mr. deputy speaker, a new scheme where gift aid can be placed on small donations up to a total of 5000 pounds a year per charity without the need for those to fill in any forms at all.
that means give dave on the content of the collecting tin and the street bucket, 100,000 charities will benefit to the tune of 240 million pounds. and together, these represent the most radical and most generous reforms to charitable giving for more than 20 years. [shouting] >> do the right thing for a charity and the government will do the right thing for you. it's a big help for a big society. [shouting] >> but mr. deputy speaker, our charity does not extend to those in our society who seek to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. tax avoidance innovation means we have to ask more from working families, and that is not fair. unfortunately, not enough has been done in recent years to tackle this injustice. agent elsie estimates that 14 billion pounds was lost to avoid and innovation in 2008. today we published our new
strategy paper on tackling tax avoidance? and we take specific measures to shut down the open abuses that have been allowed to continue for too long. we will can close down the reforms of the plant taxa points, tying capital gains rules for copies and in the practice of disguising enumeration which highly -- lifetime loans that have never been paid. and we're going to tackle the exploitation of low value consignment relief that has left out music scores losing battle. in total, on the numbers audited by independent obr, the tax avoidance measures in this budget raise around 1 billion pounds a year, 4 billion pounds over the parliament, we are doing more today to clamp down on tax avoidance than in any budget in recent years. [shouting] >> mr. deputy speaker, that gives us more resources in a
fiscally neutral buzz it to help those families who do pay their taxes but who are struggling with the daily cost of living. we've already taken steps to help the disabled. i'm glad to report the following measures in my budget last year, every local authority in england has chosen to freeze council tax in the coming year. compared to the amount council tax could have risen by, this race will save a family at an average robbery 72 pounds a year. in two weeks time the child tax credit are low income families will increase by an additional 255 pounds. i confirmed today that in the coming year all workers in the armed forces, as inserts, teachers and civil servants earning 21,000 pounds a year or less will receive a pay uplift of 250 pounds. as i said last year, the national insurance rate rise which the last government announced will have to go ahead, but because with increased the threshold it will be cheaper to
employ people on incomes of less than 21,000 pounds than it is today. that's how we stop labors job attacks. >> anyone learning lesson 35,000 pounds a year will also be better off. in 14 days than the personal income tax allowance, the amount people can earn tax-free will go up by a thousand pounds. that's the largest rise in our history. that means in real terms around 160 pounds extra per year, or 200 pounds in cash for 23 million taxpayers. the coalition agreement commits this government to real increases in the personal allows each and every year. and since this country, no one earning less than 10,000 pounds should be caught in income tax net. this budget today takes another step towards that valuable coal. i can confirm that from april next year, the personal tax allowed to increase by a third, 630 pounds, 8105 pounds. that's another real increase of
48 pounds extra per year, or 100 expounds in cash terms. together with issues rise, a total of 326 pounds extra money each year for those working hard to pay for their family needs. [shouting] >> and, indeed, and it means just 10 months into office this coalition government has taken 1.1 million low-paid people out of tax altogether. [shouting] >> and one more thing, and one more thing, last year we restricted the allowance increased. this year we have not. the result is there will be no more people into the higher tax rate as a result of this budget. mr. deputy speaker, let me turn now to excise duties. first, air passenger duties. mr. deputy speaker, let me be straight to the house. we had hoped we could replace the per passenger tax with a per plane tax. we have tried every possible
option, that it reluctantly have to accept that all are currently illegal on international law. so we will work with others to try to get that law changed. but in the meantime, we are consulting today on how to improve existing bans that appear to believe the caribbean is further away than california. we will also seek to bring private jets which pay no duty at all into the scope of taxation. the wealthiest should not escape attacks by the ordinary holidaymaker has to pay. and i can tell the house there was a heavy duty last year and with the cost pressures on family we think it would be fair to delay this able air passenger duty rise for next year. let me turn to duties on alcohol. we have already announced plans to increase duty on the strongest beers and cut in half the duty paid on low alcohol beers. beyond that i can tell the house i have no further changes to announce the rate of on-call duty put in place by the
previous government. as usual these changes will come in at midnight on sunday. i will announce again by my predecessors, tobacco duty rates will increase by 2% above inflation. however, it is clear that the structure of the tobacco duty regime is being exploited to produce cheaper cigarettes so we will change the regime to near the differential between these lower brands and the rest. between cigarettes and handle tobacco, this will reduce smoking and improve our nation's health. these tobacco duty changes will come into effect at 6 p.m. this evening. i turn now to other excise duties. rates of vehicle excise duty will increase by inflation only, and we will freeze rates for heavy-duty vehicles. i'm also proposing to increase the improved mileage allowance payments. this mileage rate has not increased at all since 2002, making those who depend on their car to work increasingly worse off. it will not increased from 40p
to 45p per mile. and i can tell the house that we will extend this release because volunteers out as package, cherries and other 7.4 for many years. all other duty rises will remain exactly as planned by the previous government, except fuel duty. the price of petro has become a huge burden on family. in the last six months, the cost of filling up a family car such as a ford focus has increased by 10 pounds. this rise is also hit businesses hard. especially small businesses. and it's important when shops -- and responsible government is able to listen and respond. let's be clear about what is within our control and what is not so we don't raise false hopes. british government are not in charge of the world's oil price and as we've seen, events like
those in the middle these can push the cost of petco at the pump higher. but british governments are in charge of the duty that we levy on petro. and the previous cabinet -- [shouting] the previous cabinet put in place before they left office a new fuel duty escalator that involve seven fuel duty increases. three have already taken place adding just over 3%, for the price of petrol. the third step on the escalator is due to come into effect next week and that would add almost another 5 cents to the price of a liter of petrol. i've made it clear that i would listen to the concerns put to me by so many people. many have suggested that we should use the extra revenues we automatically get from the north sea. and it's true that they go up when the oil price rises, but the obr confirmed that rising oil prices also cause other tax revenues across the rest of the economy to fall by a similar
amount. i'm not prepared to undermine the public finances like that. others in this house have suggested we create a separate vat rate for petrol. the treasury that examine this proposal it was not for the offset their 5p rise as coming. it would take six years to come into play and that is because it turns out to be illegal. so i have decided to reject this approach and do something different. [shouting] [laughter] >> mr. deputy speaker, mr. deputy speaker, the north sea oil tax regime was most recently changed in 2006 when the price of oil stood at $66. it is now almost doubled that amount. that means that oil companies are making unexpected profits on oil prices that are far higher than those who base their investment decisions on.
we do not in the north sea is intend to introduce a regime now. we can do something else. we can introduce a fair fuel stabilizer. [shouting] >> from tomorrow the supplementary charge levied on oil and gas production will increase from 20%, to 32%. even after this problems on a barrel of oil are forecast to be higher in the next five years than in the last five years that this will raise an additional 2 billion pounds of revenue. and we will use the new tax money to do this. first, we will delay the inflation rise until next year and also delay the april 2012 inflation rise and to the following summer. second, the fuel duty escalator that adds an extra penny on top of inflation every year will be canceled. not just for this year or next year, but for the rest of this parliament. [shouting]
>> but i don't want important investment in the north sea lost. so if the oil price sustains our falls below $75 we will consult on the precise figure, we will read and it is the escalator and reduce the new oil tax in proportion. that is how it will work. know as clear when the oil price is high. no extra tax on the profits of north sea oil company said the oil price falls and stays low. that's the fair fuel stabilizer. [shouting] >> and this is the result for bringing hard-pressed families. i have made sure there be no fuel duty rise this year. i have canceled the fuel escalator when oil price is high, and one final thing. as well as stopping these fuel duty rises i am saying that fuel duty by 1 penny per liter. this will take effect in petrol stations from 6 p.m. tonight. [shouting]
>> mr. deputy speaker, i know that by itself this will not in the pressure on family budget, but we've done what we can to help. help for families, help for businesses, governments have listened and tell. mr. deputy speaker, there was some who said issue that my job was to help families with the cost of living and of others who said no, mine is to support business, undertake far-reaching reform to help the economy grow. it is the central understanding of this government and core to our strategy that these are not two separate tasks. they are one and the same thing. we are only going to raise the living standards of families if we have an economy that can compete in the coming age so this is our plan for growth. we want the words made in britain, designed in britain, invented in britain to drive our nation forward. ..
>> chancellor -- >> the question is, that the pursuant to section 5 of the provisional collection of 19 sex 8 provisional statutory effects shall be given to the following motions. a, increasing the rate of supplementary charge portion no. 8. the alcoholic duty rates notion 10. and motion no. 12. d, amusement license duties, amount of duty motion no. 13.
e, field duty raised from the 23rd of march, no. 14. f, stop duty prevention of avoidedance no. 9. as many say aye. the ayes have it. i call the counselor of the exchequer to call the motion of the law and the motions of the debate will take place today and end on the succeeding day. the remaining motions will be put to the end of the budget debate on tuesday the 29th of march. will the chancellor please read the motion. >> the question is that the expedient to amend the law with respect to the national debt and the public revenue and to make further provision in connection with the finance. 2, that the resolution does not extend to the making of any amendment with respect to value-added tax so as to provide. a zero rating or exempting supply acquisition or
importation. b, or the refunding an amount of tax, c, for any relief other than the relief has that i so far applicable to applies for every description and 2 so far as applicable to the services and applies the services of every description. i note the right honorable david miliband, leader of the opposition. >> mr. deputy speaker. the chancellor spoke for an hour but one fact says it all. and he couldn't bring himself to say it. growth down this year and next year. it's the same old tory, it's hurting but it isn't working. what was he said last year about growth? judge me on the figures. judge him we will. every time he goes to the chamber, growth is down.
down from 2.6% to 2.63%. in november, down again. and in january, what did the prime minister say. his three priorities for the year were growth, growth, growth. and what happened in this budget, growth, down, down, down. and taking account of all the measures -- and taking account of all the measures, what is -- >> order, order, order! we should show the same courtesy that was shown to the chancellor deputy. >> mr. speaker, what is the chancellor's singular achievement to deliver a budget for growth that downgrades the growth forecast. down this year to 1.7%. downgraded next year to -- mr. deputy speaker, it didn't happen by chance it, happened by choice.
it's the wrong choice to go too far and too fast. in his own words in the june budget, he chose to go 40 billion pounds further and faster in tax rises and spending cuts than our plan to half the deficit in four years. it seems in consumer confidence fall every month since the general election. in his first budget the chancellor promised steady and sustained economic recovery. and when last september's growth figures came out, the chancellor took the credit. he called the figures a vote of confidence in the government's economic policy. [laughter] >> but when the economy contracted in the fourth quarter, what did he do? he blamed the snow. mr. deputy speaker, even he -- even he must appreciate the irony. because while the prime minister was grounded from his trip to thailand, he was on the piece of
cloisters. i guess it was a right type of holiday but a one trip for our economy. mr. deputy speaker, what is it about the british snow? because they had worse snow? germany. a big freeze in france. in the u.s., the worst blizzards of the decades. but despite all of that, but despite of all that, their economies grew in the fourth quarter. and while our growth has worsened, theirs have improved. the german economy -- the chancellor -- the chancellor should just calm down just a little bit, mr. deputy speaker. the german economy is forecast to grow more strongly than it was last year. so is the united states. growth in the world economy has been revised up. but which is the major country downgrading its growth forecast, the united kingdom. mr. deputy speaker, it's not the
wrong type of snow to blame. it's the wrong type of chancellor. it's the wrong type of chancellor in the wrong type of government with the wrong priorities for britain. mr. deputy speaker, mr. deputy speaker -- >> courtesy should be shown but can i say to everybody, the public also wants to hear what the opposition has got to say. if the cabinet members do not want to listen, then please leave the chair. some people may agree, some may disagree. the opposition? >> they shout and sneer when it hits the highs. he also promised in his june budget that he would deliver low inflation. and what happened? inflation has risen months after months after months. and it didn't simply happen by accident. it happened because he took the wrong decision on v.a.t.
same old taxes, same old tories. and he promised us falling unemployment, too. and what has happened since he gave his first budget? over 60,000 more people looking for work. to this tory government, just like the ones of the past, unemployment is still is price worth paying. and when people heard -- and when people heard the chancellor's budget speech today, they will wonder what world he was describing. i think the chancellor should listen to this because -- because -- well, in the constituencies, in the constituencies of over 130 members of this house, 10 people are chasing every vacancy. 1 in 5 young people is looking for work. families are seeing their family finances squeezed, not this year but year after year. and mr. deputy speaker, what does the government say to
communities losing their jobs? let me tell you the people of the newport justifying the closing of their passport office. they say the redundantly would provide a boost in trade for the local economy. mr. deputy speaker, what kind of planet do these people live on? on growth, on inflation, on unemployment, on the promises he made, the chancellor couldn't bring himself to admit that his second budget tells the story of the failure of his birth. at this stage of the recovery, growth should be powering ahead. unemployment should be falling fast. and every month when unemployment is higher than it should be, it throws up long-term damage. every month when growth is low as it should be it hits the potential of our economy. the problem is instead of committing it, he refuses to change course. what did the energy secretary say? if the figures change the government should not be lashed to the mark of their reckless gamble. it should be willing to change
and think again. now, mr. deputy speaker, it's not as if they haven't had practice of the u-turn business. they're becoming the past masters on forecasts, school sports, housing benefits for those looking for work even for the vanity but on the lashed to mast they are least willing to change. now we learned something new about the chancellor. apparently his political aspirations is to be a blend of nigel lawson and michael hessletimes. mr. speaker, another comparison brings to mind. the same hubris and arrogance of the early 1990s. the same broken promises. the same views of unemployment is a price worth paying. he's norman lamont with an ipod, mr. speaker. and no doubt on his playlist,
jenna regret. [laughter] >> mr. deputy speaker, this is not a growth budget, it's not a jobs budget. it's a budget for more of the same. from a complasent arrogant chancellor and a complacent arrogant government. it's hurting but it isn't working. and let's not forget, mr. deputy speaker, these are not just the chancellor's decisions. they are not just the prime minister's decisions. they're the deputy prime minister's decisions, too. he is an accomplice to the tory plan. when it comes to the economy, the man who coined the phrase, long live britain, has a snooze button truly on. nobody voted for this plan. least of all his liberal democrat voters who are told and promise after promise he would never confront them.
mr. deputy speaker if i can put it this way to him, there's a reason nobody wants to share a platform with him. on the measures on this budget, on the measures in this budget, i welcome the support for the armed forces. i welcome the support for the armed forces. and on the measures he promotes growth, we will support him. but there is -- there is little -- if they listen. there is little reason -- there is little reason they will make the difference to grow we need. the justice secretary fell asleep during the chancellor's speech in growth strategies that were so compelling. but -- but, mr. deputy speaker, but mr. deputy speaker, this is important. the office for the budget
responsibility -- the office for budget responsibility has already factored in every single measure he's just announced and they still pronounced today's downgraded growth forecast. and you can't blame people for being skeptical when the chancellor says he has a new flagship policy for growth. because people are asking, people are asking what happened to his last flagship policy for growth during the budget? does anyone remember the national insurance holiday? in june, he took the credit of that dispatch force to helping 400,000 small firms. how many have actually benefited? mr. deputy speaker, he's strangely shy in revealing the figures. but someone let slip to the financial times. by mid-january it wasn't 400,000, it wasn't 40,000. it wasn't even 4,000. it was less than a half percent of the number he promised just
1500 businesses. now, on his incentives to small firms, we all looked at the details. i have to say -- but i have to say -- i have to say his decision to counsel flexible working for families with children between 16 and 18 is extraordinary. this prime minister took credit for championing that policy. and in a few months later he takes the credit for small businesses for dumping it. has he got no shame? the idea -- no. the idea -- the idea that families needing flexibility for our economic future is frankly absurd and it tells you all you need to know about this government's values. and how they think our economy succeeds. greater insecurity as a route to greater prosperity. we take a different view.
flexible working is yet another growth and promise from the broken promise prime minister. now, mr. deputy speaker, while we're on the subject of broken promises, remember what the prime minister said before the election. he said he would be the banker basher in chief. now, the chancellor made great play of his budget speech but the reality is this, last year labour's bonus tax raised 3.5 billion pounds. it's in the redbook. and this year the bank levy raises just 1.9 billion pounds. it's the tory government cutting taxes for the banks while they raised taxes on everybody else. and he should have -- and he should have used the money to invest in the jobs funds which they abolished to make a real difference to housing in this country and to boost enterprise. mr. deputy speaker, they're failing on growth and they are failing on living standards,
too. what did the prime minister say before the election? to families receiving tax credits? he said that below 50,000 pounds a year, that the tax credit was safe. when labour said otherwise, the home secretary said this. that is a lie and it is irresponsible for labour to be worrying families needlessly. but what is the truth? next year over 1 million families with incomes as low as 26,000 pounds will lose all their tax credits. they should be ashamed of their broken promises on tax credits. and it's hard the cost of living crisis they are pursuing. the chancellor said everybody under thro-5,000 would be better off. but let's look at the facts. he came along in the june budget and put out v.a.t. costing families 450 pounds a year. now, he's got the nerve to expect them to be grateful when he gives them a fraction of
their own money back. and what the what did the institute that fiscal studies tell us this morning. they said this, there's an all of lot of giving with one hand and taking away with lots and lots of other hands. it's a classic tory con. and what about about the decision on petrol. he whacked up v.a.t. by 3 pence. families won't be fooled by the economics. both on average families it's 5 up in the basic rate of income tax and just one p down next year. what do the british people know from history? every tory ends up costing them more. same old tory, same old defeat. mr. deputy speaker, we needed a budget that changed the direction of economic policy. we needed a budget that protected the promise of britain
so the next generation does better than the last. we needed a budget that changed course on cutting too far and too fast. the chancellor said over the weekend with his customary modesty he completed his rescue mission of the british economy. after this budget it's not the chancellor who's rescuing the country it's a country that needs rescuing from this chancellor. mr. deputy speaker, when families look at this budget, look at the squeeze on their living standards, look at their job losses in that community, they will conclude it's hurting but it isn't working. >> order! [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> put statements to this house first before going -- >> get on with the debate. >> we must move on. mr. andrew tirid. this budget will be judged on whether it keeps up on course to tackle the deficit and whether it provides the strategy to improve the long-run performance of the british economy. >> in my view we need to be clear, all of us, about one thing. we are living beyond our means as a country. >> here, here. >> with every one pound in every four they spend has been
foreign. that overshadows everything else today. despite all the clash of party symbols, the gap between the parties actually on the scale of action to reduce the deficit has been done. two-thirds of the adjustment has been done by the counselor of the exchequer. i regret he's not in place at the moment. it was courageous of him to set that deficit reduction plan out and their spending cuts out before the election. he did it. today, this chancellor has stuck to his plans to sort out the public finances. and that's taken courage, too. and i think deserves our full support. i think he's done the right thing. i want to make three further points on the deficit. first, the government is not reducing public expenditures to dangerous levels. at 40% of gdp by the end of
parliament, it will be returned to promptly the same level achieved by labour in 2008. nonetheless, the retrenchment is going to feel more painful from this time on. the consolidation in each of the next three years at around 2530 billion pounds a year is three times the amount implemented in the first year of this government. the third point i want to make on the -- on the deficit is that the pressure to flinch will now mount. we simply must not do so for at least two reasons. for a start it would cost the country a fortune in high deficit response as markets lost confidence in economic policy. and secondly, to do so would mean a field day for the spending lobbyists once they smelled blood the government's strategy would be put severely at risk. i want to say a few words about the great strategy.
today, the chancellor announced a comprehensive new approach to this. and it contains many measures which i think we should welcome, not least the large risk of deregulation measures. the planning and measures to improve access to start up capital. on all of those it's essential that each part of the strategies is consistent with other parts of public policy. individually, direct measures always sound attractive. the test is whether they form a coherent strategy. on those grounds i warmly welcome what amounts to a new agenda for tax reform to create the most competitive tax system in the advanced world. and i particularly support the reductions in corporation tax which will bring it down to 23% within a few years. mr. deputy speaker, it's an absolute disgrace that the u.k. now has the longest tax code in the world.
the complexity of the system is getting in the way of thousands of small businesses in our constituency. the very people who can take us back to sustained growth. we must have a tax system which allows enterprise to flourish. a few weeks ago, the treasury committee published a report setting out the key principles which should underpin tax reform. i can summarize them very briefly. let's have more simplicity. let's have more stability. and let's have lower rates and fewer relief as possible. i note in this budget the chancellor has announced -- has abolished 43 reliefs and he's gotten rid of 43 pages of the tax code and let's have medley in the tax system as well. the chancellor appears to have set us out in the right direction. it will be now for the treasury committee and others to judge whether his proposals match up
to the principles that we set out in our report and which match quite closely what others in the tax industry have concluded -- the tax advisory industry have concluded on the way forward. the committee would also examine who gains and who loses from the budget. last year, the committee demanded an unprecedented amount of detail on the distribution with respect to the budget. the chancellor responded and i'd like to commend him for this. by publishing more information than had ever been provided by a chancellor before. this will be particularly important with respect to the plan to merge income tax and national insurance contributions. now, this has been a beguiling idea at around which chancellors of the exchequer have looked at very closely and then in the end rejected. largely because it hits the incomes in certain groups in unexpected ways. maybe the time has come for the treasury committee will take
evidence on whether indeed the time has come to implement it. i think we should also look at a number of other proposals that will have long-term distributional impacts. among them, of course, the encouragement of charitable giving with the sizeable extension of gift aid and the inheritance tax relief. and i hope that the vast majority in the house welcome that, too. we will also do -- we'll do our best to examine the coherence of some of his other measures against wider public policy. i can best illustrate it by alluding to points made too me by colleagues in the house. the chancellor announced the creation of 21 enterprises. they must be designed carefully to ensure that they create jobs and increase overall activity. the risk would always be with enterprises that they distort activity at the boundaries and
add no new jobs. [inaudible] >> i will. >> i thank my honorable friend putting up the remarks. and don't you think it should be expended out to towns where we have a strong scientific corridor? >> yes. it just crosses my mind that you might have an interest in harlow. [laughter] >> the crucial issue is that if we are to create areas which have special reliefs that we don't inadvertently merely moving activity around the country while adding nothing to overall welfare of u.k. and that is a very difficult judgment and we need to look extremely carefully at it. >> will my right honorable friend be -- >> i will. >> my right honorable friend will have heard the chancellor say that there will be discussions in relation to the position in wales and scotland. and the existence of an enterprise in the bristol area
if the welsh assembly might not follow in that policy and it mightial for the relocation -- >> i think my right honorable friend is saying and i think they need to be accountable point to. and the cost of fuel. this budget gives some relief on fuel duty rises with the cancellation of the fuel duty escalator among other things while reducing other government policies putting up the cost of energy are a lot for businesses and homeowners in other ways. not least the price of electricity. and the cost of rail travel is also going up. does all this, the reduction for motorists and increase for rail users and much higher energy bills form a coherent policy? i don't know. but it needs to be carefully examined. it needs to be examined particularly in the light of the chancellor's announcement for a
price for carbon. all these issues need to be very carefully looked at. the distorted energy policy will make britain less competitive, particularly, in our export market. in our effort to -- in our effort to return to sustained growth, we need to make best use of every pound invested in our public services. another example of the need to make sure we have coherence in growth policy, it was put to me by colleagues on both sides of the house. they've asked whether spending 17 billion pounds up a high-speed rail is best use of the money instead of investing in modern rail and improving existing tracks. i suspect that millions of rail commuters whose trains are unreliable and relatively slow will be interested to the answer to that question. i'm very pleased that the transport select committee has just announced an inquiry into
this and i think a lot of people will be awaiting the outcome. >> i'm grateful on my right honorable friend. would he agree that high-speed rail has a profoundly bad economic decision for the whole country? >> what i'm deliberately trying to do is not answer the questions here but pose these questions for the select committees and others to try and answer. i think -- what i'm trying to point out is that in order to demonstrate a coherent of growth strategies, a large policies need to look to ensure that we're not wasting public resources in the next few years. i'd like to end just by making one -- i'll give way to -- >> can i thank the honorable gentleman -- does it not concern him that nothing has been said in the budget today about the centerpiece of the government's growth strategy? in other words, the holiday on
national insurance for small companies outside london and the southeast. shouldn't we know more about how that is going and whether it's been in any way a success? >> an interesting point and, of course, as he notes, we'll be holding hearings next week on this and we'll have an opportunity to take evidence on exactly that point. i'd like to draw my remarks to a close by just observing the growth and the deficit reduction strategy, the two issues that i've been discussing today. it will be one and the same thing. if a reduction in the size of the government -- of government allows room for the private sector to grow. i know that it's not something on which agreement will be reached across the house. but i hope members on the other side of the house will permit me to end with a personal review. even if there was no debt, i believe we should still reduce public spending.
at close to 50% of gdp, public spending is too high. >> here, here. >> it reduces choice and freedom for millions of individuals, and it burdens enterprises with unacceptable levels of taxation. during the 13 years of the last government, public spending averaged around 40% of gdp. i support the government's plan to reduce it back to that level again. >> here, here. >> could i just say to honorable members, there's a lot of members who want to get in today and quite rightly want to get in as many as possible. there's no time limit but brevity will be helpful to other people. so stewart bowden. >> i'm grateful, mr. deputy speaker, for the opportunity of speaking earlier and for the hollingable member and i raised three points i would like to take up. the first one he referred to the reduction in the deficit over the next 45 years. and he said that he thought that this would give grave concern in the future and bring great pressure to bound the government
not to continue with the program. in this sense he's perfectly right. 146 billion reduced to 122 billion. reduced to 70 billion, reduced to 26 billion for the years 2015 and '16. that's a massive drop and it will have consequences for the public sector which in the end he acknowledged. in the budget speech of the chancellor he did not make any mention to the welfare state. nor did he mention the point which the honorable member finished on which is the balance between the public and the private sector. and that is a clear imbalance that we're going to see between the public and the private and whether the public sector can shed jobs and whether they can go into the private sector. that is an interesting point. and we will follow it with great interest. in the northeast of england, where we have something like 47% in the public sector, then you
can see, mr. deputy speaker, the difficulties and the dangers of moving quickly and rapidly with such a massive debt reduction over 45 years. how wilson once said one man's pay rise is another man's ticket to the -- the deficit reduction we're talking about today is one man's job passing from the public sector. and i have to tell the honorable member since he made the point, he must remember that those who actually work in the public sector are producers. they pay taxes. they consume. and to remove them from that sector by such a drastic and rapid reduction in the deficit will not actually add to the prosperity or the standard of living of our people. >> mr. deputy secretary, i'm very grateful for the honorable
borrowed at 8 billion pounds. we have mixed up the structural deficit with the overall deficit but public spending will continue to go up. but there's a certain sleight of hand from the chancellor of the exchequer when he made his budget speech. >> i'm very grateful for my right honorable friend giving way. would he also agree with me that
my public sector jobs has a direct effect on the private sector. the university shows the northeast some 50,000 jobs will go because of public sector costs. 20,000 will be in the private sector. >> i'm grateful to my honorable friend. i've also seen the study of the pricewaterhousecooper on the impact on the northeast of the various deficit reduction plans that we have seen. may i congratulate without sick or fancy to the leader of the opposition, he made a very short speech, a very precise speech, but he hit -- he hit every nail on the head that needed to be hit. growth is down. growth is down. we ended to a zero growth in the last quarter. where is growth going this year? 1.7% for the year.
how does that compare with germany, 3% growth. >> could the honorable gentleman just enlightened the house when in any recovery from any major asset-based inflation growth has returned with even a 5 or 7-year period? one thinks of the 1930s which wasn't -- there was no return to growth until the end of that decade. one thinks of japan where there was no return of growth until this decade. how can you possibly attribute to this government a situation who regards growth as you do. >> i'm very grateful to the honorable gentleman's point and we have argued consistently and so has the international community that we had a financial crisis from 2008 and 2009. and out of that financial crisis, without making references to tsunamis, earthquakes, there are many after-shocks and it takes much time to actually get over that. so i certainly agree with that point. but it was not us who said that we were going to raise growth in
last year. it was the conservative government and the honorable member made an excellent point when he pointed out quite rightly that under a labour government, we had 40% growth of debt in relation to gross domestic products. my recollection it was 37-something percent. it was the financial crisis that pushed it up to where it was. >> i'm very grateful to my honorable friend for giving way. would he also say after all the measures we've heard from the chancellor and the budget, the growth forecast is actually after the effect of those. so actually how bad would the growth forecast have been without these measures? which it's still drastically down what he was suggesting when he delivered this budget nine, tric ten months ago. >> i haven't government that far in my speech. if growth is down and inflation
is up. and prices going up in france, inflation has 2%. where we have higher inflation is because of the policy of the government. we decrease it over a period of time the value of our currency by 25%. we increased our exports but we increased our imports. our imports are still greater than our exports. we are importing the inflation. the difference between the french inflation of 2% and our inflation which is going to run between 3.5 and 5% is actually we're importing and we're importing because of government policy. and so unemployment -- let me say is the point. unemployment going up. 17 years high. the chancellor made a great thing about 3,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. he didn't refer to all of those jobs. how many more jobs will be lost when we move into the actual cutbacks starting april the 1st
on local councils. how will they deal with the 20% reduction and the nigel health system. we know we will lose jobs in middleboro. we're the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country. that is wrong. and that happened under a labour government, happened under a tory government but the cutbacks that have been announced and have come back to this massive deficit reduction program announced by the chancellor in his last budget would actually push us further down. further down. and there was no reference made to the welfare states. what happened to the welfare state. what happened to the balance between the public and the private sector. what happened to those who are not able to look after themselves? where was all that in today's budget. >> honorable members talked about what's happening in the northeast and the northwest over the last 10 years. we've seen public sector jobs
increase by 100,000, between '99 and 2009. in the private sector we've seen growth of just about 10,000 jobs. that is completely unsustainable. what can -- what do you propose is going to address -- address that situation? how are they going to do that? >> well, let me be how grateful to the honorable gentleman. that may be a figure in his part of the world and it may not be a figure in the other part of the world. let me get back to the point. we created a balance between the private sector and the public sector and we believe that balance was the right plans of the country and in terms of the northeast of england when we lost manufacturing jobs, we lost steel jobs, we lost coal jobs and ship-building jobs, we dissolved in the public sector unleashed those who worked in the public sector created careers for themselves and related to the point my honorable friend made. there was a relationship between the public and the private sector. they work together. >> i think the honorable
gentleman had a -- >> i say my right honorable gentleman who has been most generous committee explain why the government whom he supported was given a structural deficit several years before the financial crisis? >> we had no difficulty with the structural deficit because we believed in infrastructure projects. we believed in public/private initiatives. and it was exactly the same what the germans brought. it was a fine way of doing it and it's still a fine way of doing because in my constituency, we got the first public/private initiative which was to change university hospital. so we have nothing to regret on what is now called the structural deficit and when i say to the honorable gentleman i said earlier, the structural deficit is like any other deficit. it's part and parcel of the full objective. and the right honorable gentleman who made the point earlier is perfectly right.
why is the taxing this deficit public expenditure in other areas is going up. so get your balance right, mr. deputy speaker, and what we're not getting right is the balance here. the chancellor made a great play of competitiveness. he said that we were -- we've moved from fourth in the league of competitiveness to 12. we've made a big thing about competitiveness. he did not mention the euro, not surprisingly. he didn't mention the conference tomorrow and the day after when the european union, the sfooep -- 17 members of the eurozone. and why are they doing that? they are wishing to increase their growth and their imports and we're in competition with them. we're in competition with germany. we're in competition with france. we will be in competition with these other countries when the counselor of exchequer talked about greece and spain.
why the fourth economy of the world has to compare itself with greece? with 150% deficit, not the 60% or the 50%. we're talking about 115%. the 50% debt against gross domestic product. how come our nation states, the fourth largest in the world has to be compared to a small country of greece. and we go in the 67 billion deficit reduction in one budget and the chancellor today -- he was very gracious having already taken all this money out of the economy is now saying i won't be taking any more out. i'll hit you on the head with one big hammer and i'll come back with another one. how gracious of him. how gracious to destabilize within the space of nine months our economy. and that is what he's done. that is what he continues to do. he will certainly rebalance the economy. it will be away from the welfare state. it will be away from the public
sector. it will be away from the work force of our country. and he will weaken the fabric of our country and weaken the standard of living of all of our people. >> it's actually not the chancellor who's associated this economy with those of portugal, ireland, greece and spain but it's the international markets. when we have the governor of the bank of england in front of the treasury select committee two weeks ago, he and his team confirmed that without a package of fiscal austairity we will be we'll have more than what we are doing now at the moment and that's the official position of the bank of england and that's why these measures have been taken. >> i won't go down the road that the exchequer will be criticizing the president of the bank of england that would not be appropriate for me but the advice that was given to the government when it became a
government was a very severe advice comparing us -- comparing us with agrees. now, the right honorable gentleman makes an interesting point. at what point in our history did we turn over our economy to the ratings agencies? at what point did we say to ourselves, it's only a rating agencies when the rating agencies call you, and they all have a fix -- they have a panic. you're not to reduce our ratings, are you? mr. speaker, why would -- why did we as a nation state give our economy over to a ratings agency to moody's, to standard & poor's? where was the chancellor of the exchequer who said, no, i'm not going to do that. and in relation to the ratings agencies. the ratings agencies accepted the deficit reduction plan of a labour government. they were happy with the four-year program. it was this particular government who fell back to the
age of the noble lords and to the -- john major referred to my right honorable member. it's not working. it's not -- [laughter] >> it's not working. and that was the two points. the honorable gentleman gave away one i'm not sure i should give away to a second time. >> would you not agree with when john major left office in the last government? [inaudible conversations] >> that mr. deputy speaker is not true. and it could not possibly be true. how this made the reference to the we borrowed 11 billion in the month of february alone. so if one takes every aspect of this government's policy in relation to competitiveness in relation to growth, in relation to unemployment, in relation to inflation, what one does see, that's the point i wanted to make in relation to the noble lords.
this government is falling back to where it was way back from '79 to '83 and then into '92. the public sector doesn't count for very much. the welfare state doesn't count for very much. what counts is balancing the budget and i'm surprised that the honorable members of chiexster. in five years maybe we will be adopting a german proposal of balancing the budget completely in that time. so i don't want to hold the house up much longer. i would like to make some reference to my constituency and to say to the chancellor, we're very grateful that we have an enterprise zone. we're very grateful we have a local enterprise partnership. we will work closely with the government on both of those. we have seen the muck balling of steals. we have someone to take over our
steel mills. we will look to this budget. we will look to the local enterprise partnership. we will look to the new enterprise zone and we look to the new steel mill that that will create jobs, bring in 600 million in investment and for my part of the world, notwithstanding the cutbacks, notwithstanding the impact on local counselors for tea side, the future is bright and i'm very happy to be confident in that notwithstanding all the blows we will take over the next four years. thank you, mr. speaker. >> john? >> thank you, mr. deputy speaker. >> here, here, here. >> i want to remind the house that i do offer industrial advice to a swedish industrial group and investment advice to a british investment company. mr. deputy speaker, some members ahave expressed displeasure that this side of the house should have mentioned the circumstances in agrees agrees and portugal. they remind us that we have a much bigger economy.
and i'm pleased to say at the moment we have a better-managed economy than the case in greets agrees, spain portugal. our public deficit was larger even than theirs as a proportion of our national income when the big deficit reduction program started. and i would like to praise my right honorable friend the counsel of the exchequer for overseeing his central task day in and day out, month in and month out our five-year burden all of us in this house is to get that deficit down before it kills our public finances and our economy. >> here here. >> if anyone thinks there is no risk, i would invite them to go visit greece portugal or ireland and see what happens when you ignore a deficit for the best of reasons. when you say, i do want to spend a little bit more on a good public cause and so i will borrow it so spend it. of course, we've all got great
causes we would like to spend more money on. borrow somethi borrowing is something so often and when you're borrowing too much it destroys your general economy it doesn't provide too big of a burden on those who have to pay the taxes and the interest charges but in the end brings down the public sector as well with far bigger cuts and far less favorable choices than we have trying to take matters into our own hands by planning a steady deficit reduction. it is particularly poignant, mr. deputy speaker, that we are debating in this relatively civilized atmosphere in a relatively sane and sensible way an economy position about which there are strong agreements but no overall disagreements about the imperative to avoid big rises in bond rates, interest rates and the imperative to get on with some kind of deficit reduction. on exactly the same day that the
portuguese parliament is meeting to discuss not their first, not their second, not their third but their fourth package of emergency damaging public spending cuts and unaffordable tax increases because such is the plight their economy is being driven into by reckless overspending and too much borrowing and by of course being within the euro area. >> i thank my right honorable friend for giving way. would he agree in answer to the gentleman's question when the ratings agencies took over. they will go no further back in 1949 when we had a run on the forge exchange markets -- foreign change markets and we had the foreign exchange markets under labour government in 1976 to '9 where we had a run on the foreign exchange markets under a labour government? >> mr. deputy speaker, my right honorable friend is quite right. the labour party has pointed out there was one or two examples under conservative governments too so i don't want to be drawn too far down the historical
path. i think we can see what we need to see by looking at the modern reality where we see that as my right honorable friend the chancellor rightly said, currently and fortunately, british bond rates, the rate we have to pay to borrow money for public purposes are much closer to germany's than they are to many other countries in europe. and they are on the half the level they are in trouble of portugal at the moment. portuguese 10-year moment went through 8% today just to stress to those beleaguered portuguese parliamentans whether aem election might be an answer to their problems. if they don't take dire immediate action their country can't borrow at any affordable rate of interest and so they can't go on spending the extra 10% of national income that we are currently spending which is borrowed to tie us through and to get us through better managed times. mr. deputy speaker, i think my right honorable friend the
chancellor is right that having tackled the deficit and set out a pathway for doing it, he should then turn to the question of how he can accelerate growth. the truth of the 5-year deficit program is very simple. that we need well above average growth for the last three or four years of the program period in order to deliver the numbers in the redbook today, which is very similar to the numbers in the redbook we saw in the first edition of this chancellor last summer. and just to remind the house, the scale of the task, the government's plan is to be spending 70 billion a year more in the fifth year of the plan, 2014, '15 than the last labour year. an increase of 70 billion in cash terms, not a big increase. there will be pressures because of it. but it is an increase of 70 billion a year. and to get the deficit down, by
increasing the amount of tax revenue collected by an eye watering 175 billion pounds extra in the last year of the plan compared with the last labour year. we believe that we've seen all the important tax rate rises that the chancellor thinks are needed to do that. the rest depends upon that above-average growth that is still there in the official forecast at the office of budget responsibility. so the -- i give way. >> can i thank the right honorable gentleman for giving way your laying out the keys as i understand it for why we need to have credible reduction in our deficit because of the likely market reaction but does the honorable gentleman also be concerned about the impact any austairity program might have and even a limited impact so far in the united kingdom and greece and likely in ireland that maybe
too much too soon? >> i think he's absolutely right. i think the policies that ireland, greece and potter goal are being driven to may well not work because they are excessive. but that is the result if you go into the euro and then follow the market pressures inevitably produces. i see some labour members trying to see it's nothing to do them and they're looking away i remember being a lonely figure when i said we would not join the euro. i'm very pleased my party seems to be of that view. >> here here. >> i now believe the other two principal parties in this house have come around to the view that we certainly shouldn't join the euro any time yet. we have still to receive the apologies from them because surely they must accept now that if britain is being driven into the euro in the way that they thought, we would have broken the euro and broken ourselves. the euro could scarce contain small economies the size of
greece, portugal and ireland that were around that amount of debt. it couldn't contain britain comfortably with that amount of debt that britain started to incur and the british banks just as it's finding spanish banks difficult to tackle. i give way. >> i'm glad he added the words "anytime yet" in relation to the euro because it's inevitable over many, many years we will join the euro. oh, yes. can i tell the honorable gentleman that tomorrow and the next day 17 euro states will get together and put forward a proper plan for the euro and for the first time in our history, united kingdom is excluded. >> mr. deputy speaker, if they come up with good ideas we can adopt them. if they come up with bad ideas, we will be very wise to side-step them which is exactly the freedom that i and others have argued passionately in this house over the years and which we now has a government wishes to enjoy if all goes well.
but the honorable gentleman has said that these reductions could -- now, as a member of parliament believe it or not i didn't come here to have teachers sacked from my schools or doctors sacked from my surgeries. i want them to be well paid for, well funded and for there to be sensible growth in numbers where we have extra demand. where all of that view and it's quite misleading the party opposite suggest some of us don't appreciate that is well for our constituents. but it has to be affordable. it has to be within the power of the free enterprise economy to pay for out of reasonable taxation in a way which doesn't damage our growth, which is why it's so important. now, what is so crucial as the government has managed to find an extra 70 billion of cash spending for the fifth year of the plan compared with the start year, it is crucial that we keep public sector costs down so that the maximum amount of that money
can go to improving service quality and in some cases improving the amount of service and the minimum amount of it goes in extra costs and extra inefficiencies. and now all parties will say in office that they wish to have more efficiently run public services that they not only have to will the end but they have to will the means. that is why the reforms that this government is embarking on are so important. crucial that the government should listen. crucial that sensible criticisms are taken on board. but the public services had to be reformed so that we can say to people in five years' time, you are getting more for that extra 70 billion. we haven't had to cut things that really matter because we managed it better and we found a bit of extra money. >> i'm very grateful for my right honorable friend once again for giving way. is he aware of the enormous interests that exists among the purified economy for reform of it itself.
i have had a successive group of gentlemen saying why can't we be allowed to save money and the reason is because of this enormously expensive procurement process. in the case of schools, not a single school has been built recently which does not have an atrium and the reason is because it's been decided that schools which have not to do with corporations, nothing could be sillier or resistant to good government spending. >> i think my right honorable friend is quite right. improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of our purchasing is crucial in government. and there are many opportunities. and they provide some good examples but so does general purchase. i think it would be a good idea to speed the deficit reduction if there could be a stronger moratorium on purchasing items and supplies where there are already stocks in any company undertaking that radical turn-around this country is trying to do would immediately freeze all unnecessary purchases
and make people run the stocks down so that we could save some money. we see that the current rate of natural wastage of staff in the corps departments where i've got answers to questions is running about 6% per annum. we have 4% in the first 8 months. quite a number of those posts have been filled by taking on new people from our side. i would urge my ministerial friends on the front bench because the easiest way to reduce the administrative head on the scale, the least painful way for their staff who need to have their morale up is not to replace people who leave and not to make other people redundant. we can't afford the redundants and if we make great use of natural wastages. ministers can say to their save it means better opportunities for promotion. better opportunities for a change of job. if it's not an essential one you remove the post.
if it is a essential one you appoint someone from the inside and remove some other less important post. that surely is the civilized and sensible way to tackle the very necessary task of cutting the administrative overhead. if the government can cut its administrative overhead by the very large percent he's talking about it takes the pressure off in the cuts in the areas none of us which to see in the schools, in the hospitals and the front line services that matter so much. the question i was about to ask before the intervention was, what is the international context going to be like? how easy is it going to be for these government to have three or four years of above-average growth? and here i must warn the front bench that i fear that the world background is going to get more difficult going into 2012 and 2013 than it is at the moment. we had a very prolonged boom in the emerging market world and we
now see china and india and brazil lifting their rates at very high levels and they are desperately trying to squeeze inflation out of their system and we must anticipate some falloff in demand on spending and growth rates in those big emerging market economies. the united states' economy is going to have a very good year by the looks of it on the back of a lot of money printing very low interest rates and other matters. that comes to an end in the middle of this year so i think by next year, we will be seeing a slower rate of growth in the united states of america as well. a worthy situation in the middle east to get worse and for the damage from oil fields outside of libya and we may have another shock on the oil price which could serve to impede the growth of the economy. so the conclusion i take from this is that the world economy doesn't know if it's going to go back into another deep
recession. we're not going to have another impossible situation but the world economy is not going to provide the impetus that it's currently providing. it may not feel that great but it is providing quite a bit of impetus at the moment. it will be providing less impetus next year and beyond. that means that the chancellor has to intensify his pursuit of measures which make the u.k. that much more competitive and that much more successful. >> thank you, mr. deputy speaker. and would my right honorable friend also comment on the importance of improving our import positions vis-a-vis the countries brazil, russia, china and what important part that could play in our recovery? ..
>> it would be good and it would be good if we could help small our medium-sized firms. now, the devaluation which happened over a year ago now has given us one nasty result, which is a much higher inflation rate, but it is given us one very pleasant result which is it is very easy to export out of the british now because british industry is so much more
competitive. we should have that on our site. i think paradoxically british businesses now in the manufacturing sector it's very close. so they are tending to collect a bit more revenue and bring up their balance sheets because it's not that easy to expand turnover. that's what the chancellor was talking about. it needs to done speedily. this country does need to be able to put factors more quickly and get them into use more quickly. it does need to find the skilled engineers, and then expand the capability of their companies as result. modern manufacturing requires a very high degree of skill input. very talented people that management doesn't require many people to operate machines because manufacturing out is very highly automated.
it needs precision of very expensive machinery. indeed, the easiest way to compete is to have a very highly automated firms. the intellectual property content, and, of course, the plant and equipment content is much higher. but it is affordable with a quality product. >> i'm grateful to my right honorable friend. and further to the point you just made, directed from jcp, evidence that a select committee yesterday said he had 57 vacancies for engineers that he cannot feel. in order to assure that they remain competitive, and that unfortunate is the legacy of two meters which we have deliver technical vocational and very practical education as required. they are enthusiastic about the government taking forward the programs and, indeed, supporting
lord baker with his university technical conference. >> mr. speaker, i'm happy with the proposal. what i wish to stress is the government is on the right lines and i hope it's going to be with cross party agreement, that we need to raise our game and skills and training and education particularly in engineering and in chemistry and so forth will we have an advantage, can have a much bigger advantage if we do. and yes, we need to review how easy it is to buy or build a factor and how easy it is to equip it. and anything that can be done to lower the effective tax rate on business is going to make britain a much more attractive place to be. and as members of commerce will know i do say to you if you set lower rates you expect a lot more revenue. if you want those kind of growth rates, the more growth you're going to have. it would be a great tragedy to avoid recovery in certain sectors because the tax rates are too high.
need to see the details of some of the individual tax schemes. need to look at how the carbon tax rebate works. because of course if we went ahead and set a high carbon price we would price or energy business out of britain into less claims are less acceptable venue. very important that the rebates and discounts are properly thought through. at a time when the government is trying to help industry, it is not taxing other development. >> the debate on the budget is expected to continue into tomorrow. we believe this debate -- we will leave this debate today. british prime minister david cameron answered questions about olivia no-fly zone. british military capability and budget needs in the u.k. you can see prime minister's question time sunday night at nine eastern on c-span.
>> we started whining about the japanese. the japanese will take us over.
we thought we defeat them in the second world war, they are taking us over in 1970. what's going to happen to america? they will own our country. that's it, we're all out of jobs. then we start whining about the mexicans. look what's taking place. we cannot compete. we can't do this. we can't do this. now we forgot about mexico. now we are whining about the chinese and the indians. we're a country of the whiners. that's all we are. we should have enough confidence that we can compete with people if we all sacrifice a little bit for the common good. >> watch this event from wheaton college in illinois tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
>> one in four women veterans rate the women's health services as poor. the survey released yesterday also find more than half the women veterans rated essential trauma services at those facilities as inadequate. an explanation of the survey now was part of the american legion's annual conference here in washington. it's about 50 minutes. >> all right. let's get started. thank you so much everybody for joining us here for the american legion prescott's -- press coverage on results of the women veterans survey that we conducted last january online. about 3000 women veterans responded and told us exactly what they think about the health care and health care among private practitioners. if you haven't turned off your cell phones please do so now. we are starting on time because as a member of the washington
media recently reminded me every second counts. right, leo? welcome. we will are also here not only to discuss the results but this is one of few comprehensive surveys conducted since the da did one back in 1985. we are also here in a larger sense to honor the women in the armed services of the united states. so starting off today is the national commander of the american legion, jimmy l. foster. >> thank you ladies and gentlemen. since it was formed more than 90 years ago, the american legion has served veterans and their families, all veterans, not some, not most, but all. with the ever increasing number of women in the military today, and there evolving roles, the american legion realized it needed to explore more comprehensively the needs of
women veterans. that is why our veterans affairs and rehabilitation commission took the initiative to hire precedent consulting of charlotte, north carolina, to conduct the survey of women veterans. focus on their experiences, with and attitudes about health care treatments and services at va medical facilities, and also from private practitioners. we know that america has about 2 million women veterans, but as we also know, that only about one in four of them is enrolled in the d.a.s health care system today. the american legion wanted to find out why. we do three force of our women veterans declined to take advantage of the medical benefits that they have earned through their military service. women who have been wounded, women who have lodged lands --
lost limbs, suffered mentally and emotionally today because they chose to serve america with honor, pride and distinction. the department of veterans affairs has been taking significant steps to improve their medical facilities for female health care. and the american legion fully appreciate such efforts. but there's much progress progress to be made. too many times women veterans who seek help at a va hospital are mistaken as civilian lives. too many people still think that veterans are only men and not women. too many women who have served in combat theaters are still diagnosed with depression instead of posttraumatic stress. changes in culture take time. and va is starting to change its approach dealing with women
veterans. the american legion wants to help the va make this important transition. va health care needs to be more reliable, responsive and competent in its treatment of women. military sexual trauma needs a better screening process. women need to feel welcome, to feel comfortable, and any va facility across america. today at this press conference we're announcing the results of our women's veterans survey, but this american legion events also honors the service and sacrifice of women in uniform. from those who had to masquerade as men in the american revolution, to those who are destroying our enemies today on land, in the air, and at sea. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, commander. our next speaker is mr. wilcock and he is the managing principal at the consulting firm. adrian? [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is adrian wilcock and i'm the managing principal of the consulting firm. we greatly of knowledge is all of the women veterans who have shared their experience is with us. every day young men and women in the military risk their lives to protect and defend our nation. those who serve share common bonds of sacrifice, teamwork, leadership, faith and courage are preserving our freedoms. we celebrate these common bonds among the diverse military members who serve throughout our nation's history. we acknowledge that diversity in our military includes gender, race, age, and other individual
attributes. this diversity includes the unique circumstances and experiences of each military veteran. we also wish to express our gratitude to the american legion who gave us this opportunity to conduct the survey, especially director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation, ms. jones for leadership and for guidance. we greatly appreciate the education we receive from the numerous individuals who work with, on the half of, and for women veterans. thank you all for helping us understand the issues and challenges states by women transitioning out of the military. prosidian consulting provides business and technical consulting services to clients based on solutions based on industry-leading practices. we are based in north carolina but we operate on a national basis. our engagement team consisted of a very senior team of consultants all of whom spent the majority of their professional careers as consultants, military leaders,
business leaders, in the industry and his will as the federal government. in addition all project mayors have experience in management and business assessment, marketing and outreach as well as strategic performance metrics. the american legion contracted prosidian in december 2010, to conduct a survey of women veterans to assess their satisfaction with the quality of health care delivered by the va system. the survey intended to assess their perceptions of and satisfaction with women's health care, and other benefits to reload to women veterans through the va system. additionally, the survey started to determine the factors driving women veterans decisions to use the va as opposed to private and public health care systems. from the american revolution to panama to bosnia, kosovo, afghanistan and iraq, women have served in some capacity in every conflict.
that's -- as much of their almost 2 million women veterans, their currently 2 million women veterans as of september 2010. the va statistic showed that are proximate 1.8 million veterans in all age groups throughout the united states. over 70% are considered wartime veterans. the va currently expects this number to increase by 2020, two about 1.9 knowing which is about a 6.7% increase. so working close with the american legion's national veterans affairs, prosidian determine the satisfaction with health care could be assessed using 10 attributes of service quality. because of its relationship to costs, to profitability to customer attention and positive references service called is an important indicator of customer satisfaction in all industry. the survey responses were used to identify the needs, concerns, of women veterans tom and to develop recommendations to the american legion.
the survey results also provided an assessment of the gap between desire to performance and actual performance. throughout the va. based on the procession of women veterans these funds will permit the american legion to focus its resources to improve the quality of health care provided by the va. the study involved an online survey, a sample of 3012 women veterans, in order to better understand their health care needs. the survey was made up of 67 question. the first 19 of which were demographic questions. the remaining questions cover 10 adjectives of service quality with approximate five questions each attribute. patient base determines of health care and satisfaction played important role in choosing health care services. the general concept of service quality includes the comparison between a customers expected service and his or her experiences in perceived service. the 10 attributes of service
quality are as follows. tangibles. tangibles deal with the appearance of the physical facility, the equipment, personnel, communication materials. number two, reliability. this patch if you deals with the ability to perform the procedure service dependably and accurately. the third attribute was responsiveness. responsiveness deals with the willingness to help customers who provide prompt service. the fourth, competency. competence was the possession of the required skills and knowledge to perform the service. this attribute also dealt with the resource capabilities or the resource experience is specifically related to women's related health issues. number five, courtesy. courtesy dealt with a politeness, respect, consideration and friendliness of the contact personnel. not only for the veteran as he or she receives service, but
also for the family members who may join each veteran, women or men, as he or she receives service. number six, communication. listening to the customers, acknowledging their comments, keeping customers informed in a language that one can understand. number seven, credibility. credibility dealt with the trustworthiness, a general sense of believability and honesty of the service provider. number eight, security. security and our survey was defined as danger from risk, doubt. it also defined as the security of information. how comfortable does the patient you with regard to providing personal information and health care setting provided by the va, especially with respect to the personal issue that may be facing uniquely by women. based on their health needs. number nine, access. access deals with approachability, and ease of conduct. it also deals with the location
of the facilities and where they are in relation to where the veterans, men and women, actually reside. and lastly, understanding the customer. that attribute generally means making an effort to know the customer and his or her needs. a total of 3025 versions of view to the survey of that number 3012 persons answered the survey question forming a pool of responses. because of the survey did not require answers to each question the response to is variable. with a different number of responses to different questions. of the 3012 respondents, 2884 provide information regarding the city, location, zip code and other home residence information. these residents of locations were represented by national standard federal regions. u.s. standard federal regions. this is a stars by the office of management and budget and is wired for all executive agencies. the idea behind looking at the
location from a standpoint of the national standard federal region is to identify where the veteran currently resides, and compare that to what he or she receives service. to see if there's a gap in distance. that impacts access. we may find sometimes that the distance to get to the facility may be prohibitive in receiving the care of one needs. another demographic we reviewed was raise. 80% of the respondents considered themselves white based on census categories. the remaining respondents, 11% were black or african-american, 4% hispanic, asians comprise 1% of the respondents while another 1% considered themselves american, indian or alaska native. the remaining 3%, another 1% was the native hawaiian or pacific islander. the remaining 3% characterized their racial category as other. this compares to statistics maintained by the va should post 9/11 only veterans were fairly
similar distribution. with the racial breakdown according to the va being 57% white, in terms of veterans, non-hispanic. 22-point i% black non-hispanic. either, non-hispanic. 13.5% were hispanic. non-veteran ratios which are those individuals that are currently deployed in the military and as maintained by the va showed a similar dispersion with about a point to present a approximate margin of error. in terms of the branches of the military, the sample ugly women veterans through five branches, it reserves components and other dod personnel. in addition to other ud the tabulation results illustrate that some women veterans represent multiple branch of the military. in addition, we noticed that some women veterans also served in multiple theaters. so for instance, we might have found that their women veterans to participate in the navy, also served in the air force.
that women veterans who served in vietnam may also have served in the korean war. numbers of current as of september 30, 2009 from the department of defense show that the army comprises 41% women veterans, the marines 6%, maybe 21%, air force 23%, reserve forces 7%, and none dod nondefense roles were 1% of the women veterans population. so the analysis of the survey responses showed that with the exception of the national guard and reserve units the proportions of the survey and those who responded to the survey closely approximates the va's latest official estimate of veterans population. figures from the national guard, however, shows once deployed a typical veterans man or woman does not consider themselves a guardsman but the associate more closely with the branch of the military that there deployed. so in closing we would like to thank the men and women of our military who sacrifice,
dedication and courage we owe a debt of gratitude for the freedom that we hold so dear. we would like to thank again the american legion, and ms. verna jones for leadership. would like to close instinct when it comes to our veterans, health care is absolutely a right, not a privilege. we owe it debt of gratitude and addictive quality of service to health care to our veterans. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, adrian. our next speaker is the chairman of the veterans affairs rehabilitation commission, mr. mike elma. mike? >> veterans affairs and rehabilitation is one of the four pillars upon which the american legion was founded. when the first group of combat worried doughboys of the first of the first world war gathered in paris in 1919, they committed
themselves to compassionate care of their fellow soldiers. wounded veterans and their families. we help veterans file for the benefits. we assist in the discharge review process. we conduct inspections of va health facilities and regional offices serving as the voice of the veterans and stakeholders in the fulfillment of our shared and sacred obligation. we fight for adequate resources for va, guided by that spirit. we are here today to better serve our nation's increasing percentage of female veterans. and to do that we must first better understand their need. i personally want to thank all of those who took time to fill out the american legion's online survey to better assess the needs of women's veterans and the services they receive. results from the survey and the feedback we received in response to it will help guide our
policy, practices, methods and approaches in the way we advocate on behalf of female veterans. as a global war on terra draws near to its 10th anniversary, we can be sure of one thing. all who serve in these times are in combat in a front this war, the theatre is everywhere. the american legion believes that a veteran is a veteran, and all who serve our once served these are the best care possible regardless of duty, station, mission or gender. the american legion which accepts female members before women had the right to vote, salutes all who have sworn their lives to defend and protect our freedoms back into those female veterans have identified deficiency in the system of care they earned and deserve, please know that the american legion is here to address those problems and help solve them. thank you. [applause]
>> i now have the honor and privilege of introducing our next speaker. the rehabilitation division director, and a veteran dedicated to helping female veterans every day, verna jones. let's give her a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all for being here. the american legion is committed to providing the highest quality and most responsive services to all veterans, as well as the undertaken special initiatives to determine how the american legion can best meet the needs of veterans. one of the priority initiatives includes a study to assess exceptions and satisfaction with health care and other benefits delivered to women veterans through the va system. through the study the american legion was able to focus on concepts of service quality, to determine factors driving women veterans decision to use the va as opposed to other private or
public health care systems. we all agree that service quality is an important research topic. because as our decision was point out the apparent relationship between cost, profitability, customer satisfaction, customer retention and positive word of mouth is critical. currently about 25% of 1.8 million women veterans are using the department of veterans affairs health system. men and women veterans have either chosen not to enroll in the va health care system or unaware of the medical benefits they earned through the service and armed forces. other women veterans may have negative or ambivalent perceptions of health care delivery through the va health care system. research on this subject is important. yet it is lacking. women represent a rapidly growing portion of u.s. veterans currently forming almost 20% of our armed forces and represent the fastest-growing population of va health care system. system. overtime women's roles in the
military experiences and needs have changed dramatically. most kashmir more current data is needed for evidence-based strategic planning of programs and services for women. the american legion's veterans affairs rehabilitation commission has increased its outreach programs for women. and as the study endeavors to assess the experiences, attitudes, concerning health care provided by the va, the american legion will work to strengthen its advocacy role and to see that the needs of this viable population of veterans is met. the results from the survey will be used to file the methods and enhance the test by to congress and federal agencies. and to improve its own evaluative program. the survey results will also help identify unmet needs among women veterans and to guide the remedies. the information he shared with you during the research methodology, demographics, and
processes will play a valuable role in shaping plans, initiatives, procedures as we forge ahead with new information, our renewed energy and an even stronger commitment to serve our veterans and appreciation for their service to our nation. going forward and in keeping with the four pillars of the american legion, we look to leverage the spirit of our concerns are quality and health care for veterans, both men and women, to ensure they receive the benefits they so truly deserve. we know that women veterans represent approximately 20% of the armed forces, and it is the fastest-growing population in the military and the fastest-growing veterans population. by 2020 pentagon expects the ranks of women to grow to approximately about 6% year over year. veterans of american sacrifice the freedom we hold so dear and we owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women of our military. we owe a debt of service to ensure that they are all well taken care of and provided the
benefits they deserve, all veterans, and women. the american legion will go forward with information that we receive at continue to monitor our progress as that is our primary health care evaluation tool in assessing the quality and timeliness of va health care. during our site is as we continue to meet with the facilities, women veterans program offices to better assess best practices and report on these areas of improvement. we share the results and make recommendations to congress on how women veterans programs can be more effectively supportive. the american legion will continue to refine outreach to women veterans to ensure that their need for adequate me. the american legion tends to conduct future women veterans surveyed, web-based polls, conduct focus groups as a follow-up to this 2011 survey to assess improvements in the 10 tragedies of service quality.
the american legion will continue to advise and to advocate to congress for additional funding critical to our veterans, both men and women. we fundamentally believe that when it comes to our veterans, quality and health care is a right and not a privilege. abraham lincoln said of the va, care for him who has borne the battle. the american legion has a decision for all veterans and strives to shot advocate for the needs of for women veterans because we understand that she, too, have borne the battle. we would like to take this time and the opportunity to thank all of you for your service to our country, and especially on the state as we salute women veterans. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, verna. we're going to go ahead and open up the press congress to questions to the media right
now. and so, transit, if you will come on up, in a day. we also want to have doctor frankie jones who is the executive fellow for prosidian consulting. just come around. [inaudible] >> we ask ask you to identify yourself and your association. >> hi. leo from stars and stripes. i'm wondering with the results that you saw there, if it's simply a matter of education and a lot of these facilities, or is it also a matter of outreach? folks in the legion says it's to be the outreach aspect but it seems like there's a lot of dissatisfaction. do you have some sort of breakdown, some sort of idea as to how much of the problem is va, not addressing what women need and how much of it is folks and they don't know what is out
there? >> i get into the first part of that and i will turn to adrian about the break-in. actually it is both. it is a matter of education, about a matter of us educating the va on what are women veterans need. it's a matter of outreach. we have to do both. find out what women veterans need come and and to educate the va on the needs so they are adequately met. >> i think it's important to focus on an improvement in service quality as a whole. it's not necessarily an issue of education with regards to the recipient of health care service. it's more of an issue with resourcing and focus on the quality of care provider. we found in our survey about 66% of the women that participate in the survey and to represent the population of veterans, not only register for the health care service but they also maintain their private health care services. in addition that subset, only 40% ever used the va. so the women veterans over all
do know what their service, what their benefits are. and its focus, it's really a matter of focusing on improving the quality of service provided to women veterans. >> also in conjunction with the communications and the promoting of awareness we find that 47% who are eligible elected not to use the health care services within the system. the direct contributing reasons for it are multiple, but certainly communications play a vital part there. >> can you deal with some figures in the survey concerning the women's satisfaction? >> we will just cover of view of the statistics that may have
been highlighted. we noticed that about 6% of the women in our survey suffered from some form of traumatic brain injury. we noticed that 38% also suffer from posttraumatic stress. that 15% of that 38% who suffered from posttraumatic stress, attribute that post-traumatic stress to military sexual trauma. 20% did not apply for benefits, or did not know they were eligible for benefits. 66% were enrolled in health care system, but also making private health care. 40% of that 66 only use the american -- or the health care available to them through the va very limited. they prefer to use private health care and sensitivity pentateuch issues of privacy and safety and security. i mentioned security with regard to information not necessary security but they may be attributed to it as well. 38% were not satisfied with measures of credibility.
this deals with the research and the believability in terms of expertise with regards to the women's related health issues. 67% of the professionals exhibited trustworthiness, so that's positive. however, the congress of that is exhibition of lack of trustworthiness. 21% almost never or seldom ever would refer to the va where would refer the va to another service member. only 60% frequently are almost always referred the va to another service member, so you are referring, which referred the va to your closest ally? and only 60% said that they probably would. 38% said they would not use the va in a second opinion was required and the va offered that second opinion for free. 42% said that they would use the va for a second opinion if it was offered. 27% stated that an unfavorable
perception with information security, and when you talk about hit the requirements and other requirements with regard of their of able and require in health care, information security is that most. especially when you look at specific health of the rate -- the related issues that veterans they have. 38% were dissatisfied with measures of access in terms of the facility being easily accessible. in terms of the waiting time in terms of the convenient hours of operation, scheduled other service. and one of the other things, the last adjective that was highlighted was the attitude of understanding. 36% were dissatisfied with the va entrance of the military sexual trauma screening process. general levels of satisfaction with understanding of about 50%, but 60% felt that their treatment was not clearly explained to them. thank you.
>> did anything come out of the women's veterans own separate facility or the need for daycare or things that they decided that they were not yet getting? >> that was not a focus of this study. service quality was the general focus of this study. that did not come up. >> how you doing? i'm with the "washington times." those who responded, how many were officers? how many were enlisted? how many were national guard and reserves? and the last question would be, how many are using the military medical facilities because of their wounds instead of the va? >> thank you for your question. we did not, with regard to the 19 demographic question we took extra special care not to require a response for the demographic question, where you located, how old are you and
things like that. so we did not capture information regarding the rank of the veterans. however, we highlighted that the relative, the demographic disparity of the better to participate in the survey closely approximates the numbers of women in different branches of service that the va captured in terms of data. army consisted about 32 -- 38.2% of the responded. the air force was 25%. the navy was 19. the military reserves was about 18.8 are sent of the respondents. the national guard was yet another 15%. so we clearly, closely approximated the representation of veterans and women veterans across the military. [inaudible] >> serving on the differences between women being treated with military treatment facilities
versus -- and those treated at a va facility? >> not specifically compared. we did not specifically compare the differences between in service or deployment treatment, if you will, to out of service veterans traded. however, we did compare that is related treatment outside of the service once they became veterans to private health care or other public health care facilities. but not compared -- >> you don't have any statistics on outside their in the military treatment facility versus the va? >> that was not part of the survey. >> based upon the relationship at the american legion has with the va in terms of being an advocate for veterans, what elements of this survey did you find particularly surprising, if
any? >> well, i think we each have a different section. one of the things that was very surprising was the general level of discomfort that women veterans deal with regards to getting treatment, for women specific health issue. there was a general concern of the lack of understanding of women specific health issues. there's a general concern with the inappropriate access to the facilities and/or services. when you consider the impact and a significant impact on an individual that may have been impacted by a military sexual trauma, there seems to be a general lack of understanding and the ability to address any personal matter approach really women's related health issues, especially those who may have had some sort oftrauma. another thing that we noticed was that converts to other studies that me highlight women's from as being stressed
or mental illness, we noticed that the, was not related to stress and mental illness. it was related to combat related issues. including military sexual trauma. >> again, thank you for your question. as a former senior commander of the united states air force and having committed to major organizations, your question is very much on point. in terms of what surprised me as a former commander the most was some made-up perception of the lack of sensitivity. now, the women went even further to say that lack of gender specific intakes, case in point, if a veteran had had an incident, msg, whereby they had been sexually assaulted while on active duty and they bring this to the attention once they are
in a veteran status, to have to explain that situation to a mail -- male practitioner with a discomfort and very discouraging experience for many of them, i, again, as a former commander, i was saddened to hear that your again, it certainly brings and promotes the need to address that. that would be a critical area requiring immediate attention. >> one of the other areas that was surprising is that when we were are asked for the health care issues if they were service-connected or if the va had deemed the conditions, health conditions service-connected, and just 49% of them have not been deemed service-connected. so that was surprising. almost half the women who were
treated at va and half the women who feel their conditions are related to the military are not service-connected. that was a surprising area for me. that's one area the american legion is going to look into. we conduct regional office visits throughout the regional offices, and we will be paying close attention to that. >> did the survey provide an opportunity to follow up or was it strictly blind? >> we took extra special care with regard to security of information and we did not require the responders to provide contact information. however, they did. but again, in respect to the privacy we have not used that will and will not use that information. >> what we also know it as researchers, there is a credibility factor here. the respondents are weighted. and they are expected to hear, to see actions coming out of
this. because many, aside from taking their time, it begins to bring to surface some very late and pains. and with that being the case, certainly attention unsure, and we have been extraordinarily impressed with the leadership of the american legion, as a veteran i had not been an member of the legion, but you can rest assure i am a member now. i am a member of the retired -- [applause] >> i'm a member of the retired officers association and so forth, but there is no other organization that does what you do, because no one has taken the steps to do what you have just done. [applause] >> i'm a little concerned when i hear about the numbers that you
interviewed, compared to the number of women veterans. weirded the list come from life and are you going forward -- 300,000 him is that what you said at 1.8 million macs how much? >> 3000. out of 1.8 million? boy, we've got a lot to do. >> certainly. the american legion, we work closely with the american legion and the veterans service officers to also work with the american veterans. we are keen that the responders are not solely american legion members. we were teens but also working to interactively calibrate the survey overtime to ensure that the demographic breakdown adequate represents the true breakdown of veterans and military. >> maybe we should -- [inaudible] and get some information into the women's magazines. >> we did promote this in the women's magazine and on the internet and with regards to the
private newspapers, "the miami herald" and so forth. so it was widely promoted across the internet and in major publications. >> thank you. we will have to do more. >> the 3000 respondents statistically significant? does it give you a confidence factor in the response is? >> yes, it is. it is. when we also compared that response ratio to the numbers that are being held by the va, we did not deem it necessary to survey 3 million. if you will. as long as we had the adequate coverage across the various branches of the military and deployment of services. thank you. [inaudible] >> that's a good point. we leveraged the cannot use of a
framework called cervical. it was developed 20 years ago initially to study service quality and technology. but in the past 20 years it's been widely used throughout the world. and in health care to assess a measure of quality and service. so we thought that was appropriate when we look at how one would go come when you consider the research question, the research question was one of the expenses and/or perceptions of women veterans as it relates to health care provided by the va. we work with the american legion and deemed that the most appropriate way to study that based on the research question was to assess a mesh of service quality. so they're certainly other metrics and frameworks that could be used. and one chosen was a servqual framework focusing on 10 attributes of service quality. >> let me also add, i'm a researcher. your question is turning on point. and that is something this, we brought to the table to of my
guys who work for creative leadership if they are both ph.d. one ph.d in statistics. the other ph.d in behavioral organization and is a behavior organization theorist. now with that we then took the aspects of models, and we model lies a concept based on what adrian has talked about in terms of service quality. so analytically, we build a model that would tell nothing off the shelf, okay? we built this model that would tell it to do exactly what the american legion -- american legion had asked us to do from a research perspective. i hope that helps. >> with any server you want to have an outcome, and it seems like what we heard is that there needs to be more participation and more satisfaction from those who do participate. so this question would really be for verna.
what are some of the things that we could do immediately, some things for which we could advocate to improve both participation and satisfaction, and what are some of the things you think will take longer and more work? >> thank you. i just took to the women's auxiliary a couple of nights ago. one of the things we need to do, is to educate, continue to educate women, veterans that there is help for them, benefits available for them. and that women veterans are women who served in the military our veterans. one of the things we need to do is talk costly about the benefits, about our advocacy role as a legion family, about the service officers, the over 2000 accredited representatives, professional representatives that we have to have get those benefits. talk about our system saving program under health care unit that goes out to the hospitals and measure the quality of hospital services, the hospitals
providing. we are trying to foster, we have a good relationship with the g8 and we're trying to foster even better relationship. and we're -- we want to work more closely with them and just develop that relationship so when they have programs and outreach is that the american legion will be that the very first veterans service organization that they call to come help them. we want to be they go to organization for all advocacy role for veterans, but especially for women veterans as well. [applause] >> anymore questions? >> how would you feel, all your findings, the most significant issue facing women veterans, and i guess would be the primary or top issue that the american legion should look at and addressed the?
>> we would consider access to be the most significant issue. we consider understanding, which is literally really hard to put her arms round because it's universal. it impacts access, but we consider access not necessarily a separate facility but a facility and scheduling and service and support that is appropriate for the service that they provide to our nation. >> again, as a former commander, i would say it starts the day that person separates from active duty. as a part of the exit -- as a part of the exit interview, it might be advisable, because i'm sharing with you what did not take place even in mike weir, and i retired in 1991. might be a grand opportunity to venture that this person who is separating from active duty is able to connect immediately as a
potential veteran now, with the american legion, with knowing what is available, with knowing where the opportunities for access are, with having information, whether it is a publication, whether it's a flyer, but leaving with something in their hand so once they get home, they're able to take out all this material and then they will be able to begin to organize their life in going forward. but that would be an observation from a public relations standpoint as well. i would also take it a step further. align yourself with grassroots organizations in the community, with the churches, with the clergy. i would say to you that the vast majority of our clergy, in all likelihood are unaware of the
programs, initiatives, the opportunities that is provided to the american legion, which therefore, they're able to communicate this information right to their parishioners who, many of them as we know, our veterans. so it becomes a total community, a holistic approach. but that would be an additional input from me. thank you. >> anyone else? [inaudible] >> how would this information be >> thank you for that introduction. actually i was going to talk about that. [laughter] [inaudible] [applause] >> it's a great question and i was leading to the. as some of you may seem to get jumpy mic there but all these
questions are the reason we even initiated this survey. our organization has a proud history of advocating on behalf of americans veterans. since 1919, we have fought to secure the benefits of those who have worn the uniform. today's event and the publication of the american legion survey on women's veterans is a commitment, a visual commitment, to those women who are serving today, who have served side-by-side with us. what we're doing here today is recognizing the changing demographic of the veteran population. and what we're discussing here today shows me there's a need for this, now have a passion to continue to what we've done, what we have done since 1990. that common thread that we share will talk into a legionella. that's why we do what we do and that's why we recognize to move into the future we have to recognize the changing demographics of american veterans population. that's what this survey is about. your specific question on how are we going to get this to the dealership?
i haven't delivered a copy of this to the secretary this morning. the hard work is going to be gained when we lay these chairs and we exit this room. the hard work that we all know that we are capable of doing as an organization is going to start when we exit this room. the commitment of this organization is to take this information, to stand side-by-side with the leadership of the department of veterans affairs, to say there's a need to listen to what has been shared. the legion could be the force. we can also be action but we need a buy-in from the department of veterans affairs, the administration and the leadership in this country, and the commitment of those in this country who may not be affected by the military. each one of the shares that common bond, that the growing population in this country who may not be affected by those who wear the uniform. may not have a family member who is serving, may not understand the sacrifices. it's our job to educate them as well. it's one thing to make a point on the needs of american veterans, especially women veterans, but it's another thing to publish those goals and we
need to change the attitude of the country by reminding them that not only of the men and women who wear this hat committed and sacrifice of this country, but young people of this young country are doing today. we don't provide the voice alone. so your question what are we going to do? we are going to do what we've done since 1919. we will continue to do what's right. with this information, if there's any other questions, i guess that was my segue into ending the press conference, but i don't want to limit anymore questions if anybody has any. yes? [inaudible] ..
an actual first step in this organization so we can listen and learn so we will know what to take to the secretary and the white house we will know those veterans who are serving as a veteran, those women, we are serving as a united nations. i want to thank you all for being here. [applause] >> i just want to thank everyone for showing up to this press conference today. it's been quite the event and i think we've learned a lot about this women veterans issue. and i'd like to invite you next door to a lovely wine and cheese reception we have and i'm also told we have a fruit garnish as well. so thank you so much and let's applaud one more time our participants. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations [ -- [inaudible conversations]
>> on television, on radio, and online, c-span, bringing public affairs to you, created by cable. it's washington your way. >> coming up at noon eastern the pentagon will brief reporters on the latest from libya. we'll have live coverage of the defense department briefing. till then a look at the u.s. and coalition military strategy in libya from this morning's "washington journal." >> >> host: we have a center fellow where she works on u.s. foreign policy and national security issues. nora, i want to begin with the headline we started with on this show this morning and that's in the "washington post," coalition nears agreement on transition for operations in libya. it appears after a phone
conversation with the turkish prime minister by president obama on monday night, that they have backed off their opposition of this being led by nato. and it looks also like the french president sarkozy is going to agree of having this led by nato. what's your reaction and what does it mean? >> guest: i think the military arrangements are going to be fairly clear. i think the agreement that you've been discussing comes -- enables nato's integrated command and control structure to run the military parts of the operation. what i think is still in the process of being decided is who exercises political control over that. usually in a regular nato operation, it would be the north atlantic council. that's the heads of state of all the nato members. but one of the things that the french president has proposed is overseeing the political aspects and giving commands and orders to the military command by a committee of those who are
covering it. it would also enable the alliance the other countries who are not members for the political oversight of the mission. it's a tricky thing to do because it's established in an ad hoc way. it doesn't have the same patterns of cooperation as the nato council does and so there may be some drawbacks associated with that political oversight but i think the agreement that is being talked about will very clearly use the nato command structure as the military command to oversee the operation. >> and we'll talk a little bit more about the details but we should note in this article they said this isn't official. no one signed the dotted line yet on this tentative agreement. it says that this could be announced as early as today. can you talk a little bit more about nato command center, all of that -- i mean, militarily, what does that mean? >> nato has been a military alliance since 1949. and so it has a command structure that is set up to oversee operations that is an
international military officers who are assigned to that as their permanent opinions seconded by their military commands and that's to oversee the missions in afghanistan today. so the advantage of using that structure is that it's in place. it's tested. it's known. there are great difficulties setting up ad hoc command arrangements for coalition operations. >> host: so where and -- where do they operate out of? and how? >> guest: the command headquarters is located in belgium an hour outside of brussels. it's not like the pentagon. it's more in the war of iraq, for example, it was commanded in a headquarters of florida. it's that type of arrangement and they have communications established with the commanders in the region and on the ground. >> host: so does this mean for the united states? >> guest: what the united states was trying to do and you were discussing earlier was trying to hand off this mission as quickly as possible.
the u.s. policy has really been to do the things in this operation that only the united states can do. and that's to provide rapid command and control structures to get the operation going rapidly and effectively. and then to use -- to use u.s. military firepower to destroy and dismantle gadhafi's command and control systems and particularly his surfaced air missile capability. that's very important because nobody is going to be -- everyone wants to minimize the danger to pilots in the air who are enforcing the no-fly zone and taking out those missile sites becomes very important to enable that to happen. >> host: go ahead. >> guest: but that's the initial phase. and that's really starting to wind down. if you look at the number of targets there are, the number of sites there are to hit, i think this operation has been designed so that the u.s. would do the things that the u.s. can uniquely do or bring massive amounts of firepower to it at the beginning and then pave the
way for the other countries that really were the ones to advocate strongly diplomatically for the u.n. resolution come in and then sustain a no-fly zone. >> host: if you look at this piece written this morning off on the "washington post," doubts raised by effectiveness of u.n. sanction no-fly zone. it lists the deployment status noncoalition assets deployed to libya. there's a lot of talk only the united states was capable of doing what it has been doing since saturday. why is that? >> guest: simply put the u.s. military has more advanced capabilities than most of our allies and partners. >> host: even france? >> guest: yes. they have some capabilities in this area but in order to take down particularly that surfaced air missile threat quickly and effectively, and to do it in as short a period of time as possible the united states only has the capability to do that. >> host: we showed our viewers earlier, just a few minutes ago, colonel gadhafi going on the airways in libya late yesterday saying, we're going to be
victorious. that i am here. i am here. we're going to be victorious. what did you make of that? >> guest: well, that's, obviously, understandable for him to do. i think the ultimate outcome here is very unclear. the no-fly zone is expanding across the country. perhaps more slowly than folks in some of the -- in the cities that are held by rebels now would like but it's slowly expanding from the eastern part of the country to the western part of the country. but i think it's not at all clear once that no-fly zone has expanded and once that transition happens. the obama administration has made a pretty clear distinction between what it is doing militaritarily and the diplomatic policy of regime change in libya. president obama has clearly stated that the military is not going to be used to pursue that diplomatic -- that diplomatic objective and other tools of the u.s. foreign policy will be used but i think in practice that's a somewhat confusing message to send and it really makes it unclear what happens after that
initial wave of attacks is over. >> host: "the washington post" editorial writes on this confused in libya is what it says. the only solution to libya's crisis as mr. obama first recognized several weeks ago is the removal of mr. gadhafi from power but the administration still seems to lack a coherent strategy for accomplishing that aim. mr. obama spoke vaguely on monday about a wide range of tools and a powerful international consensus around the isolation of mr. gadhafi but financial sanctions and in arms embargo are not likely to force him out appeals to the dictator's collaborators to turn against him have been undermined by public predictions by senior u.s. officials, most recently general hamm that he might remain in office. were it determined to accomplish its stated aim there's much more the administration could do. it could provide arms to the rebels. and also follow france's lead in recognizing that benghazi-based government it could take advantage of the broad language in the u.n. resolution take more aggressive action against the regime's military assets
striking armor, artillery and aircraft wherever they could be found. it says all this would require mr. obama to do something he has avoided from the beginning in libya, exercise u.s. leadership. the president's defenders say he has refused to embrace that role because he wants -- any intervention to enjoy broad support and because he seeks to change the u.s. image in the middle east. but his initial operations in libya have demonstrated effective multilateral action especially involving the military depends on strong american participation. a couple things there. let's begin -- you touched on this. that we have a wide range of tools to deal with colonel gadhafi if he were to remain in power. what are they? >> guest: well, the most obvious ones are financial, using sanctions to freeze the assets of key individuals and organizations in the country. and the u.n. security council resolution explicitly addressed that, talks about sanctions, identifies both people in organizations but the u.s. is doing that bilaterally on its own as well.
>> host: do they work? >> guest: that's an open question. they do in some circumstances. it's not clear the extent to which they will work here. the u.s. had sanctions on libya for many years. having to do with the shootdown -- not shootdown the explosion of the plane over locker by. those were lifted fairly recently. they hadn't worked to produce regime change in that period of time. so it's not clear whether the conditions now are fundamentally different enough to be able to weaken him through those tools. >> host: let's get to phone calls. we can talk a little bit later about the history of our relationship, u.s.-libya relations but we'll go over to hanover, in maryland. carl a democrat joining us. hey, carl, turn the television down. we'll put you on hold and we'll come back to you. santa monica, california, tyson, you're a republican. what do you think on this. >> caller: good morning, thank you for c-span. well, what i think is the comments coming from the president. i think they're a bit premature. i would love to find out what
you and your guest have to say about it. i mean, to withdraw within days, i think, is premature to say. i mean, when you have, like you said, gadhafi on television now still speaking. when you have him in power 40 years after the turmoil that he was causing, i think we should just stay our ground, get the job done and stay strong. >> host: let's talk about days versus weeks because we've heard that from not only president obama but secretary of state, hillary clinton. >> guest: what they're talking about days instead of weeks is transitioning the responsibility especially the political responsibility for the operation to a different entity or group of states. it's not talking about a complete withdrawal of forces over libya and ending the no-fly zone. i think that's really important. it's talking about really reducing the u.s. role, again, having done those initial things to establish a permissive situation.
and turn over responsibility to the countries particularly france and great britain which were the countries that pushed very hard diplomatically to get this no-fly zone established in the first place. >> host: so we've seen general hamm who is operating out of germany. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: is he leading this effort right now? it would no longer be him? the general in charge, it would be somebody else? >> guest: yes. and again, the exact details depend on this arrangement we were talking about before that hasn't been confirmed but if it does use the nato integrated command structure, there would be a nato designated commander in charge of it and that person could come from a number of different countries depending on the arrangements that are agreed to. >> host: we'll go to lake charles, louisiana, ken, a democrat. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. >> host: morning. >> caller: i'm an ex-vietnam vet, ex-navy back in the '70s. we used to go all these ports in the mediterranean. back then i knew who was going to be the policemen of the world
because we're always pulling these countries that didn't even like us, like turkey, greece and other countries. but they call that diplomacy, you know? these people threw rocks at us in the '70s saying, yankees go home. if they hated us back in the '70s, but i knew back then that we was going to be the policemen of the world. we would show our flag, you know? rolling in these ports where people hated us, but we did it anyway. >> host: all right. are we being perceived as policemen of the world? >> guest: there's a really very split view in the arab world from what i understand. is there is no love for gadhafi and there's real outrage among a lot of people in the arab world about how gadhafi is treating his citizens. on the other hand, anything that resembles western intervention to try to dictate policies is also a deep problem. so i think attitudes are conflicted in many ways.
and the longer that this goes on without some sort of final resolution, i think, that the pressure in the arab world may tilt more towards the opposing the intervention among the people, not necessarily among the leaders than in terms of supporting the efforts to protect libyan civilians. >> host: so the longer this military action goes on, so this transition between who politically is in charge, that's not going to sway the -- will have it any sort of impact on how the arab world is perceiving this? >> guest: there's difference between leaders and people in these countries. and i'm not sure that the people make a great distinction between a u.s.-led intervention and an intervention -- whatever the ultimate name of it is and the exact command arrangements where france and great britain are playing a prominent role. it may make a difference for some. i'm not sure it will make that much of a difference for many. >> host: well, general hamm briefed reporters from his command post in germany on
monday. he spoke about how complex it is for -- to do this military transition. take a listen. >> it's not so simple as having a handshake someplace and say, okay, you're now in charge. there's some very complex technical things that have to occur particularly in the management command and control of the air campaign to make sure that, one, we have no disruption, whatsoever, in the ongoing operation. two, that we put none of our air crews at risk as we go through this transition, to whatever that follow-on headquarters would be. so there are some -- there are some complex tasks that have to occur. but i would also say we are ready to begin that process immediately, as soon as that follow-on headquarters is identified. >> host: nora, what's your reaction to hearing that? what are your thoughts? >> guest: there are certainly technical issues in command and
control that's one of the one of the advantages of building on the structures and they are editors because there is a standing body that is used to making these kinds of arrangements. >> host: so what happens then. what will be the u.s. role once this transition takes place? >> guest: well, i think much of that is still -- still remains to be seen and based on the particular arrangements. what president obama said yesterday in a press conference is that he doesn't see u.s. planes being heavily involved in patrolling the no-fly zone or being involved in maintaining it. so -- but exactly how many u.s. airplanes, if that means zero, if that means some all still remains to be seen. >> host: if you're interested, the "national journal" did a piece written by mega scully written about the cost of the operation of libya. that's let me read a little bit from it. her lead paragraph says that this could ultimately hit several billions of dollars. the first day of operation odyssey dawn which is what it's being called add price tag that was well over 100 million for
the u.s. and missiles alone. and the u.s. military which remains in the lead now in its third day has pumped millions more into air and sea launch strikes targeting air defense strikes and ground force decisions along libya's coastline. the total the u.s. spends hinge on the length and scopes of the strikes as well as the contributions of the coalition allies. do you have anything to add to that? >> guest: i think in the scale of the defense department budget although these numbers seem large they are not large to the approximately $750 billion budget of the defense department. my understanding is that this is being funded out of the normal budget for operations. and the reason why that number is so high on the first day is because tom hock missiles are expense. and it becomes the cost driver and the people the fuel the repair of the aircraft -- all that normal maintenance stuff that goes on in an operation and i think ultimately that will be the final driver of what the cost total is. >> all right.
and the defense department typically buys about 200 tom hawks. it will ultimately need to boost a planned procurement ranks to refill its stock highly. cruise missiles which cost 1 million to 1.5 million apiece from ship stations off the libyan cost that totaled 112 million to 168 million for the first offense by the u.s. which launched about 112 long-range tomahawk cruise missiles. nancy, go ahead. >> caller: i have a couple comments and question. i just see that the hypocrisy that's going on compared to president bush. all kinds of questions were asked of him. and nothing is going on with obama. they don't ask him any tough questions.
they don't care that he went through congress. they don't care -- the press especially does not care. but they do make comments about how much it will cost and when are we going to get out and what's the exit strategy? and these things are going to come up like they did against president bush. president bush went through the congress and through the united nations before he went to iraq. >> host: nancy, let's talk about the war powers resolution. the constitutional question that has been raised. if you look at the war powers resolutions from 1973, the president can send combat troops into battle for 60 days without a declaration of war by congress or a specific congressional mandate. the president then can extend the time the troops are in the combat area for 30 extra days without congressional approval
for a total of 90 days. does this mean ground troops? is there a distinction there. does it matter. >> guest: rights talking about acts of war in general. the thing about the war powers act is that it has been more honored in the breach than followed presidents of both administrations there have been major u.s. wars such as the 2003 iraq war that have had congressional authorization but most u.s. military actions actually have not. congress' recourse in this is really very blunt. all they can do at the end of the period is cut off operation even if they are loathe to do even if they are very frustrated no request has come in to actually vote on the conflict. >> host: and that's what congressman dennis kucinich a democrat from ohio has said what he would like to do. when congress returns next week, with some language on the house floor that would defund operations in libya. let's go to bobbie an
independent in washington, d.c. good morning. >> caller: good morning, i have two questions for the panel there. one, what is it that the political establishment especially obama -- one minute they're saying he's dilly dally on libya. he's not taking leadership and taking too much time and then when he exerts his influence, what have you, they jump all over him, they didn't have congress approval. he's going against the war powers act so forth and so forth. what is it do they want from this gentleman to do and my second question, everybody is talking about the cost of the war and it just started, how come nobody is talking about the cost of afghanistan billions by the day? thank you. >> host: all right. we'll go to fort lauderdale, florida, carl, democratic line. you have a question or comment for our guest. >> caller: yes, i have a question for your guest. i want to pose a scenario. the united states says that the libyan situation is a mediterranean problem and it should be up to the mediterranean powers to pursue
it. between the italians, the french and the spanish, they have five aircraft carriers. i cannot believe that a forthright power like libya could stand up to that. why is it necessary for the united states to be participating in this effort when our european allies should be handling it? secondarily, if they are not able to handle it, why are they allies. >> host: nora? >> guest: as i said at the beginning, i think that the u.s. policy has been designed deliberately to try to get these countries to take the bulk of the military action again with the u.s. doing the things up front that it was really uniquely capable of doing. i think the comment about the criticism of president obama is fair. at the beginning of this crisis, there were huge calls, you know -- huge criticisms of the president for not standing up, letting civilians be slaughtered, for not taking military action particularly when france and the united
kingdom were pushing for such a resolution. now that military action is being taken, there's a lot of criticism about the way that military action is being taken and questions about whether we should be there at all. some of this is, of course, part of the national debate and issues that need to be thrashed out but it is notable that shift in the commentary about it. >> host: let me show our viewers this headline in the "washington times." western officials seek cease-fire in libya. defense secretary gates? over in russia talking to the leaders. he is quoted in here that the subtitle of this says gates questions defense minister's tone and calls gadhafi's claims on death lies. what does this do to the coalition that we're seeing conflicts between the two russian leaders about whether or not this is appropriate action in libya? and then you see this -- the russian official -- the defense secretary calling for a ceasefire? >> guest: i think it does very little. once the u.n. resolution was passed and that --.
>> host: with the russian vote. >> guest: abstention. russia and china have veto power and once they chose to abstain, letting it happen without their political support for it their influence over what happens now is very, very low. >> host: we'll go to fort worth, texas. philip, republican, good morning. >> caller: good morning. you know, this whole thing -- they want to say that he's attacking his civilians. well, his civilians didn't make it a peaceful demonstration. they rided, they took up arms and the people in, you know, that are on gadhafi's side, they're citizens too. they have a right to defend themselves, you know? nobody is looking at that. they gave up nuclear weapons. that was somebody that was willing to work. where was the diplomats? where's president obama's, you know, hand for all the people that he said he was going to put his hand out to? you know, where was he when iran was attacking their people and
shooting that woman? where was the outcry then, you know? that's not europe's oil. that's libya's oil. if they don't want to sell it, then they don't have to, you know? there's a time when the guests have to go home, you know? >> host: nora, do you have any thoughts? what's your reaction? >> guest: yeah general ham has tried to make a clear distinction between civilians who are not involved in military action and those rebels who are taking armed action against libyan security forces. in practice, especially if you're a pilot in a cockpit, that's a very, very difficult distinction to make but at least in principle, it has been established that libyan people who are taking up arms not just what general ham said not just picking up a machine gun for self-protection or something like that but those that are engaging with real military capabilities are legitimate targets for the libyan security forces and they are not going to intervene to protect those. >> host: he has made the
distinction between working on opposition forces that they are not doing that? >> guest: yes, they are not -- what he has said they are not providing what's known as closed air support which is air support that helps facilitate ground movements. >> host: listen to general ham in his own words on this issue about air strikes and how they're being -- not being coordinated with rebel forces. >> our mandate again, our mission is to protect civilians from attack by the regime ground forces. our mission is not to support any opposition forces. so while we have reports from people who are reported to be in the opposition, there is no official communication or formal communication in this so-called opposition that are opposing the regime's ground forces. >> host: we'll go to johnny in northampton, massachusetts, independent